News & Press

WhatsApp Fined €5.5 Mil for GDPR Violations

Press Release
Jan 23, 2023
min read

In an ongoing and connected development to Facebook’s legal battle against the GDPR, another key Meta product has just received a fine for violating data protection laws.

This time it’s the ultra-popular messaging app WhatsApp, acquired by Meta in 2016, facing a €5.5 Million fine. As is typically the case, the non-profit watchdog Noyb and the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) are leading the charge.

The basis for this fine is similar to other cases Meta is currently fighting, with the DPC claiming WhatsApp is grossly contorting the GDPR with changes to its Terms of Service that require users “to consent to the processing of their personal data for service improvement and security.”

While the DPC will not investigate the app further at this time by exploring whether Meta is using the data it collects from WhatsApp for targeted ads the way the company does with Facebook and Instagram, they have ordered Meta to get the app’s operations into compliance within six months, by July 2023.

As this struggle with Meta shows, once companies get on the radar of data regulation bodies for failure to comply, they will stay there until reaching full compliance.

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