WhatsApp will temporarily stop sharing data with parent company Facebook until it can comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations,
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.
The UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said today:
I am pleased to state that WhatsApp has now signed an ‘undertaking’ wherein they have given a public commitment not to share personal data with Facebook until they can do so in compliance with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May this year. I reached the conclusion that an undertaking was the most effective regulatory tool for me to use, given the circumstances of the case. As WhatsApp has assured us that no UK user data has ever been shared with Facebook (other than as a ‘data processor’, as explained below), I would not be able to meet the criteria for issuing a civil monetary penalty under the Data Protection Act.
Consumers need not take any action at this time as Facebook and WhatsApp will be handling the finer details on their end. The UK ICO will continue to monitor WhatsApp’s adherence to the undertaking, and most likely will reserve the right to re-open the investigation should concerns about data sharing arise going forward.