Facebook halts collection of WhatsApp user data in Europe

Back in August, WhatsApp updated its privacy policy to grant itself the ability to send information gathered from WhatsApp (such as phone numbers) and pass them back to its parent company, Facebook.

The change was largely criticised by privacy groups in Europe, and was actually halted in Germany, which interpreted the move in its current form as an infringement of data protection law.

Germany also insisted that Facebook delete all of the data gathered from its users before the process was halted.

However, Facebook has now halted the collection entirely within Europe, after 28 countries' data collection authorities signed an open letter to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum asking him to suspend the data collection until such time as the legalities of doing so have been clarified.

The halting of data collection is temporary however, as confirmed by a Facebook spokesperson;

"We hope to continue our detailed conversations with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office and other data protection officials,”

“Facebook remain[s] open to working collaboratively to address their questions."

Facebook controversially purchased WhatsApp in 2014 for $19bn.

Source: The Verge

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