Message service WhatsApp has to pay a fine of 225 million euros because the company has not been transparent about how it handles personal user data. It is the first fine that the company will receive after European rules on data protection were tightened a few years ago.
The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), the watchdog that oversees privacy rules in Europe, has determined that WhatsApp did not comply with the then tightened privacy rules in 2018. They would not have been transparent enough about how user data was processed and shared with other branches of parent company Facebook. The company should also clarify how you can submit a declaration to a regulator.
At WhatsApp they believe that the privacy and security of the users are of paramount importance. “We disagree with this decision on transparency in 2018 and the fines are completely disproportionate,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said. “We are appealing this decision.”
Three years ago, stricter privacy rules were introduced in the European Union. The new data protection law General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has made it possible to fine companies up to 4 percent of the value of annual turnover.
Since then, major tech companies such as Facebook and Google have often come under fire for privacy scandals. They have been punished several times for this, but this time is special. The Irish watchdog has never imposed such a high fine on a company.
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