WhatsApp will not share data with Facebook

Lloyd Doyle
March 15, 2018

This comes after an investigation by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which was looking into WhatsApp's plans to share data from its customers with its parent company, Facebook.

In September 2016, Denham said the ICO would choose its investigations carefully to make sure they are relevant to the public, and revealed that the ICO had begun a review of data sharing between WhatsApp and other Facebook companies.

WhatsApp also only gave users in the United Kingdom 30 days to opt-out of this data sharing, which the ICO found to be inadequate.

The agreement between WhatsApp and the ICO will stand until the GDPR, a new set of regulations created to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the European Union, goes into effect.

No WhatsApp user data has been shared with Facebook yet for the purposes of improving "Facebook ads and products experiences".

"People have a right to have their personal data kept safe, only used in ways that are properly explained to them, and for certain uses of their data, to which they expressly consent", a post Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham read in part. They state that data protection should be both by design and default in any operation.

"I reached the conclusion that an undertaking was the most effective regulatory tool for me to use, given the circumstances of the case", she wrote. The only instances where data was shared between the two companies was when Facebook was providing technical support to WhatsApp and even then, on a "controller-to-processor" basis. I would also like to stress that signing an undertaking is not the end of story and I will closely monitor WhatsApp's adherence to it.

The popular messaging app has signed a public pledge not to share any user's data with Facebook after the ICO ruled that doing so would be illegal under the data protection act and before the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May this year.

WhatsApp said in a statement given to INQ: "WhatsApp cares deeply about the privacy of our users".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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