UK Blocked WhatsApp Data Sharing Plans

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Social media giant WhatsApp’s plan to use its users’ data in the UK has been blocked, according to a BBC report.

This is not unconnected with Facebook’s announcement in 2016, that it planned using its subsidiary’s record to better improve users’ experience by giving “better friend suggestions and show more relevant ads”.

With various concerns about data and privacy abuse, the UK regulatory watchdog however prevented Facebook from using its citizen’s data beyond the purpose of the chat app itself, a move which is likely in pursuant to the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to take effect from 25th May

With Facebook, wanting to be GDPR complaint,  WhatsApp will obviously comply with the new marching order.


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.


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission intended to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU.

The regulation was adopted on 27 April 2016, but will become enforceable from 25 May 2018, after a two-year transition period, and will replace the current 1995 Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC). The GDPR aims primarily to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.

The proposed new EU data protection regime extends the scope of the EU data protection law to all foreign companies processing data of EU residents. It provides for a harmonization of the data protection regulations throughout the EU, thereby making it easier for non-European companies to comply with these regulations; however, this comes at the cost of a strict data protection compliance regime with severe penalties of up to 4% of worldwide turnover.


Facebook is an online social networking service headquartered in Menlo Park, California, in the United States. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his Harvard College roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The founders had initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities and later to high-school students. Its name comes from the face book directories often given to American university students.



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