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HmbBfDI Tells Facebook, Inc (NASDAQ:FB) To Stop Processing Personal Data Of WhatsApp Users In Germany

The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HmbBfDI) directed Facebook, Inc (NASDAQ:FB) not to process privacy data of WhatsApp users in Germany.

As a result, Facebook cannot collect private information for three months. The new order is issued to protect the freedoms and rights of several users in Germany. Johannes Caspar, who heads HmbBfDI, said the data leak following the Cambridge Analytica scandal affected over 500 million social media users – Facebook.

Sixty million users of WhatsApp in Germany

After acquiring WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, Facebook is looking for ways to monetize the personal data of the users of social media messenger. WhatsApp commands a user base of 60 million in Germany. Facebook said it would appeal against the ruling of HmbBfDI.

Sets a timeline of May 15

WhatsApp is asking its users worldwide to agree to its privacy and user terms. The company will focus on the interaction of its users with businesses and collects data from those conversations for marketing purposes. 

WhatsApp set a timeline of May 15, 2021, to agree to its privacy terms to continue using its App. It now competes with Telegram and Signal, the rival messenger platforms.

According to a communiqué from Facebook, several users accepted WhatsApp’s new privacy terms. 

Facebook needs to gain users’ trust for the long term success of its data-based business model. It is being criticized for its new privacy terms worldwide and needs a rethink of its consent mechanism.

Caspar requested all the data regulators in 27 nations in the EU to ban Facebook from collecting personal data through WhatsApp. 

A spokesperson of WhatsApp said HmbBfDI’s order against the social media giant is on the backdrop of misunderstanding and updated terms of WhatsApp has no reasonable basis. 

It says the claims of HmbBfDI are wrong and will not affect the rollout of its WhatsApp privacy terms update. The company is committed to providing private and secure communications for every user. 

Facebook loses lawsuit

Facebook failed to win over the Irish Data Protection Commission’s initial order that threatens user data transfer across the Atlantic. The final order stops Facebook from transferring the users’ data to the US servers. It has time until September 2021 to appeal against the ruling.

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