The European country’s data privacy watchdog, CNIL, noted that WhatsApp has never asked users’ permission over sharing their data with Facebook. The social media giant plans to use the data for advertising purposes and other business intelligence operations. Facebook first admitted that it was harvesting the data last year.
CNIL officials explained that data collection is legit when it comes to security concerns, but it should be prohibited when it comes to financial purposes under France’s Data Protection Act.
CNIL also found that Facebook has never made it clear to users why it was collecting their data. Also, WhatsApp users never had the chance of opting out the program by citing privacy concerns. The French watchdog gave the company 30 days to comply.
France Reports Massive Data Transfers from WhatsApp to Facebook
The French agency also said that there is a “massive data transfer” going on between the messaging app and Facebook’s servers. This should be troublesome for individuals that want their private data to remain private.
In October, Facebook announced that it plans to invest $1 billion in a new data center that will be located in Virginia. The center is equipped with state-of-the-art computing power, but has mysteriously few employees.
France now claims that it has urged WhatsApp numerous times to offer a sample of the data it beams to Facebook’s servers, but Facebook has stubbornly denied submitting the data, saying that, as a U.S. company, it doesn’t have to comply with the French law.
If Facebook further refuses to comply, CNIL will appoint a team of investigators who could set some hefty fines.
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