June 13, 2021

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Data protection: WhatsApp: For now, there will be no consequences if the new rules are rejected

Privacy
WhatsApp: For now, there will be no consequences if the new rules are rejected

WhatsApp insists that there is no extended data transfer to Facebook in the update. Photo: Chakri Skier / dpa-tmn

© dpa-infocom GmbH

About two weeks ago, WhatsApp enacted new data protection rules and threatened users that they would lose important functions if rejected. Now the Facebook daughter is boating again.

For now, there will be no repercussions as WhatsApp users do not agree to the chat service’s new data protection rules.

There are currently no plans to limit the range of activities for them, a Facebook spokesperson said for technology blogs “The Next Web” and “The Edge”. WhatsApp wants to clarify this after consulting with officials and experts. Instead, these users will be reminded of “periodic” updates.

WhatsApp introduced new data protection regulations two weeks ago. It said users who do not accept the update will gradually lose important functions after a few weeks with warnings. “It’s not currently planned to make these reminders permanent or restrict the operation of the application,” it says in WhatsApp’s questions and answers about the new terms.

According to previous announcements, users should lose access to their chat list over time, WhatsApp explained in a blog post. First, you can still accept incoming audio and video calls and use notifications to respond to chat messages. In a few more weeks, WhatsApp will announce that it will no longer be sending calls or messages to their smartphones.

WhatsApp has always insisted that there is no additional data transfer to Facebook in the update. Changes are primarily about creating better ways to interact with companies.

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Hamburg data protection lawyer Johannes Gaspar stepped in anyway and, as a precautionary measure, issued an order in mid-May banning Facebook from processing WhatsApp data from German users. It is valid for three months because the Irish Data Protection Commission is responsible for Facebook in Europe. WhatsApp responded that the arrangement was “based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose and consequences of the update”.

WhatsApp had already rejected in January the announcement that more data would be shared with the mother. However, the introduction of the new rules was postponed for more than three months to May 15.

dpa