European privacy regulators wants to carefully examine the new WhatsApp policy


The world’s most popular mobile messaging application, WhatsApp will be closely scrutinised, the chair of Europe’s leading group of privacy regulators said on Monday. This move was made after the Facebook owned company said on Thursday it would start sharing users’ phone numbers with Facebook, helping it to target advertisements and friend recommendations across the social media network……

By connecting your phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. – WhatsApp.

WhatsApp users are in full control over this information, and they could choose not to share their account information with Facebook. But even at that, the European privacy regulators wants to carefully examine the new WhatsApp privacy policy. According to a statement made by CNIL, the French data protection commission, and the current chair of the G29 or Article 29 Working Party of European privacy regulators;

Each European authority will be following the changes made to WhatApp’s privacy policy with great vigilance. What is at stake is the control of individual users over their own data when they are combined by major Internet players.

CNIL said it hasn’t received any complaints yet from citizens concerning the latest changes to WhatsApp privacy policies.

At the time when Facebook acquired WhatsApp, WhatsApp founder Jan Koum vowed to protect data of its users and said the deal would not affect its privacy policy. In response to that, Britain’s data privacy regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), monitored the changes to ensure that the new policy stays within data protection laws.

Earlier on, several European media warned readers about the policy change and gave them tips on how to avoid letting WhatsApp handing over their phone number to Facebook. It’s likely that WhatsApp’s privacy policy will be discussed at a G29 meeting, a CNIL spokeswoman said, the meeting will be held at the end of the month attended by representatives of each European national privacy regulator.

WhatsApp Messenger was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees of Yahoo!. It is a proprietary cross-platform instant messaging client for smartphones. It uses the Internet to send text messages, images, video, user location and audio media messages to other users using standard cellular mobile numbers. The name “WhatsApp” was used because it sounded like “what’s up. As of February 2016, WhatsApp had a user base of up to one billion, making it the most globally popular messaging application.

WhatsApp Inc. is based in Mountain View, California and has been acquired by Facebook Inc. on February 19, 2014, for approximately US$19.3 billion.

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