August 4, 2021

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Technology – Irish authority to check data sharing between Whatsapp and Facebook

Hamburg’s data protection officer Johannes Kaspar failed in an attempt to ban the sharing of information between WhatsApp and Facebook at the European level. The European Data Protection Council found that it did not know enough about the processing of user information between the chat service and its parent company to make such a decision.

At the same time, the commission believes that it is “highly likely” that the rules may already be violated by the exchange of data between WhatsApp and other Facebook companies, according to a statement Thursday.

Therefore, the Irish data protection authority responsible for Facebook in Europe has been asked to examine the case with priority. The goal is to clarify whether Facebook WhatsApp data is processed and whether there is a legal basis for this according to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

New Terms of Use

Caspar’s move was prompted by the controversy surrounding the new WhatsApp terms of use introduced in May. Shortly before that, the Hamburg data protection official, who has since left his post, issued a precautionary order preventing Facebook from processing WhatsApp data from German users. Among other things, Caspar warned that the new WhatsApp rules will make it possible to use the data to contact products from Facebook companies. WhatsApp denies that Facebook has access to more data than the chat service.

Caspar’s request is valid for three months because the Irish data protection authority is actually in charge of Facebook in Europe. At the same time, he wanted to achieve an approach at the European level. Hamburg’s deputy data protection officer, Ulrich Kohn, described the commission’s decision as disappointing. It was a success that the Irish Data Protection Authority has been urged to investigate. “However, this non-binding measure does not do justice to the topic’s importance.”

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(AWP)