Hamburg DPA prohibits Facebook from collecting WhatsApp user data

Facebook recently announced that it would no longer delete accounts of users who did not approve its revised privacy policy by the previously mentioned May 15 deadline, instead opting to disable certain features.


Also read: WhatsApp Privacy Policy update says users’ account won’t be deleted


As part of its amended terms of service, a German regulator has barred the company from obtaining WhatsApp user data from German users.


According to Reuters, the Hamburg data protection agency (DPA) has now prohibited Facebook from collecting data from users of its subsidiary company WhatsApp’s service.


After a month of investigation, the country’s highest data protection authority declared the company’s latest terms of service, which it is forcing on customers, to be “illegal”.


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According to the report, Hamburg data protection officer Johannes Caspar described the process of enforcing the new privacy policy as a “black box procedure,” with the aim of preventing “disadvantages and damages” associated with the procedure.


The Hamburg DPA will also ask the European Union to pass a region-wide decision against the policy.


Meanwhile, the company claimed that the Hamburg DPA’s statements were false and that it misunderstood the update’s effect.


Facebook’s spokesperson stated that the Hamburg DPA’s claims are wrong, the order would have no impact on the update’s continued rollout.


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The company spokesperson told Reuters, “We remain fully committed to delivering secure and private communications for everyone”.


The company was most likely referring to its previous assertion that the new terms would have no effect on European Union residents because their personal data was subject to the strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy rules.