NEWS30 August 2016

ICO investigates WhatsApp and Facebook data sharing plan

Legal Mobile News Privacy UK

UK — The Information Commissioner has responded to changes that WhatsApp and Facebook have made to how they handle and share users’ personal data. 

WhatsApp and Facebook icons on phone screen

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has made a statement on the announcement made last week by Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp that it is to make a change to its privacy policy. This change will see it share some user data with its parent company, including for ad-targeting purposes. 

"The changes WhatsApp and Facebook are making will affect a lot of people," Denham said. "Some might consider it’ll give them a better service, others may be concerned by the lack of control.

“Our role is to pull back the curtain on things like this, ensuring that companies are being transparent with the public about how their personal data is being shared, and protecting consumers by making sure the law is being followed.

“We’ve been informed of the changes. Organisations do not need to get prior approval from the ICO to change their approaches, but they do need to stay within data protection laws. We are looking into this.”