Turkey launches antitrust probe into WhatsApp and Facebook over the new privacy policy

WhatsApp updated its privacy policy at the turn of the new year. Users were notified via a popup message upon opening the app that their data would now be shared with Facebook and other companies come February 8. Due to Facebook's notorious history with user data and privacy, the new update has since then garnered criticism with many people migrating to alternative messaging apps like Signal and Telegram. Microsoft entered the playing field too, recommending users to use Skype in place of the Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

In the latest, Turkey has now launched an antitrust probe into Facebook and WhatsApp regarding the updated privacy policy. Bloomberg reports that:

Turkey’s antitrust board launched an investigation into Facebook Inc. and its messaging service WhatsApp Inc. over new usage terms that have sparked privacy concerns.

[...]

The regulator also said it was halting implementation of such terms, it said on Monday. The new terms would result in “more data being collected, processed and used by Facebook,” according to the statement.

However, skeptics are concerned over whether the probe is another move by the government to curb dissent. Turkey's President Tayyip Erdo─čan has been tightening the government's control over social media for the last couple of years under the guise of "eradicating immorality". Last year in July, he told the members of his Justice and Development Party, “Do you understand why we are against social media such as YouTube, Twitter and Netflix? To eradicate such immorality.” Whether this is genuine criticism of WhatsApp's updated policy, remains to be seen. However, things should become clearer once the probe develops in the coming months.

Source: Bloomberg

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