European privacy watchdogs warn WhatsApps over Facebook data sharing

WhatsApp's recent change in privacy policy to start sharing users' phone numbers with Facebook has attracted regulatory scrutiny in Europe
WhatsApp’s recent change in privacy policy to start sharing users’ phone numbers with Facebook has attracted regulatory scrutiny in Europe

WhatsApp has been warned by European privacy watchdogs about sharing user data with parent company Facebook.

The regulators said they had “serious concerns” about the changes made to WhatsApp’s privacy policy, which made the sharing possible.

In a letter to the messaging firm, they asked it to stop sharing data until it was clear that European privacy rules were not being broken.

WhatsApp said it was working with data watchdogs to address their concerns.

In August this year, WhatsApp revealed that it would be sharing more information with Facebook, which bought the messaging app in early 2014 for $19bn (£16bn).

WhatsApp justified the change by saying this would mean suggestions about who people should connect with would be “more relevant”.

But many criticised its decision because of earlier pledges that WhatsApp had made to remain independent of Facebook.

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