France’s privacy watchdog has given WhatsApp a month to refrain from sharing user data with its parent company Facebook.
In a statement Chair of the National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) said they had asked WhatsApp to provide a sample of the French users’ data transferred to Facebook.
“The company explained that it could not supply the sample requested by the CNIL since it is located in the US, it considers that it is only subject to the legislation of this (US) country,” CNIL posted on its website.
“As a result, the Chair of the CNIL decided to issue formal notice to the company WHATSAPP to comply with the Data Protection Act within one month.”
Upon investigating these claims, the CNIL ruled that while WhatsApp’s intention of improving security measures was valid, the app’s business intelligence reason wasn’t as acceptable.
European regulators have attempted to police Facebook in the past, especially when it comes to data-sharing. Germany ordered Facebook to stop collecting data from WhatsApp users in September of last year, and in the UK, Facebook agreed to stop collecting WhatsApp user data in November of last year.
Then this May, Facebook was fined $122 million by the EU for providing “misleading information” about its acquisition of WhatsApp, when the company claimed that it would be unable to link profiles of users from WhatsApp to Facebook. And in September, the EU asked social media platforms including Facebook to crack down on hate speech — with the looming threat of legislation if the companies didn’t comply.
“Should WHATSAPP fail to comply with the formal notice within the specified timescale, the Chair may appoint an internal investigator, who may draw up a report proposing that the CNIL’s restricted committee responsible for examining breaches of the Data Protection Act issue a sanction against the company,” said the commission.