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WhatsApp fined $267 million for breaching EU privacy law

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WhatsApp, fined, data, Ireland,

Ireland’s data watchdog has fined WhatsApp €225 million ($267 million) for breaking the European Union’s data privacy rules.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, in a statement, Thursday, said WhatsApp failed to explain to users what it uses their data for.

WhatsApp collects and uses the people’s personal data as well as shares same data with Facebook.

However, the regulator said WhatsApp kept EU citizens in the dark about what it does with their data.

ALSO READ: Understand WhatsApp’s View Once Feature That Makes Photos, Videos Disappear

The regulator, therefore, orders WhatsApp to make updates to its already lengthy privacy policy.

It said WhatsApp should also change how it notifies users about sharing their data.

WhatsApp Reacts:

WhatsApp said it will appeal the decision.

A spokesperson for the largest social network with more than 2 billion daily users, said in an email to The Verge thus:

“WhatsApp is committed to providing a secure and private service.

“We have worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive and will continue to do so.”

“We disagree with the decision today regarding the transparency we provided to people in 2018 and the penalties are entirely disproportionate.”

Implications:

By this decision by the Ireland regulator, WhatsApp will be forced to update its policy which may become, even lengthier.

WhatsApp will have to comply with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which governs how tech companies gather and use data in the EU.

Also, WhatsApp will be the first tech platform that GDPR will hit with a privacy  lawsuit.

This is after the GDPR came into effect in May of 2018.

Anthony Chinonso Ogbonna is the editor of Techuncode media. He is a seasoned journalist whose stint cuts across broadcast, print and, especially, the online media. A graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Anthony holds a Masters Degree in Multimedia Journalism. He aligns his belief with those of world tech communities, holding tenaciously that the world is solely driven and can only be best with tech. Furthermore, Anthony believes that technology is simple, fun and is not what one, especially Africans, should be scared of, hence, his passion for telling compelling stories about tech in ways relatable to the ordinary user. He has his hobbies in reading and designing (new hobby though.)

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