WhatsApp probed in Italy over sharing of user data with Facebook

Back in August, WhatsApp announced changes to its Terms of Service, allowing the app to share data with its parent company, Facebook. These new terms resulted in Facebook and WhatsApp being subject to investigation in some countries, including the UK, Spain and India. Italy is now the latest country to probe Facebook's intentions with the recent changes.

The main objective of the probe, which started this Friday, will be to check whether the new WhatsApp agreement imposes "unfair" conditions on the users. Initially, WhatsApp is expected to share the address book data of the users with Facebook for friend suggestions. In the future the company may share more data for targeted ads, though WhatsApp has maintained that users won't see ads in the app.

WhatsApp is said to be cooperating with the Italian anti-trust agency. However, if the company is found to be denying service to users who do not agree with the terms, it could face a fine of up to five million euros. Until September 25th, users could partially opt-out of the new data sharing agreement, but now these have become mandatory and it could be an issue for the chat service once the probe concludes.

Source: Reuters

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