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WhatsApp fined over $3 mn for sharing user data with Facebook

An Italian regulator has fined WhatsApp $3.3 million for sharing personal data of users with Facebook. The data was shared after WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014. In August 2016, WhatsApp had changed its privacy policy, allowing data to be shared with its parent company Facebook. This had created widespread concerns in India as well. WhatsApp has been asked by all data protection authorities of 28 countries in the European Union to stop sharing user data with Facebook. The argument is that users’ consent is not clear in such instances of data sharing. Speaking about the development, a spokesperson from WhatsApp said that the company is reviewing the decision and will respond to officials soon.

It may be recalled that petitions have been filed in Delhi High court also challenging the validity of data sharing with Facebook. However, the verdict in the case is still awaited. Meanwhile, the Italian antitrust regulator said that there was a way users could refuse data sharing with Facebook, but the same was inadequately flagged, rendering it ineffective for most part. In Germany, the government has already banned WhatsApp from sharing data with Facebook.

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