• Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

Whatsapp Faces EU Consumer Complaint About Privacy Update

ByMike Paul

Aug 4, 2021

Abstract

The BEUC, or European Consumer Organisation, went on to file a complaint on Monday over the move where WhatsApp went on to bring in alterations to its privacy policy and terms of service, saying they are not clearly understood by the users and are not transparent.

It was in January when WhatsApp introduced the privacy policy allowing it to share a few data with FB and several other group companies. It said the alterations allow users to text with several businesses and will not affect one’s conversations.

Facebook’s WhatsApp happened to face a complaint from the European Union consumer associations saying the services of chat has been unreasonably pressuring the users to accept the latest privacy update in what that calls the breach of bloc’s regulations.

That said, many users on WhatsApp switched to several other chatting applications like Telegram and Signal because of the privacy concern when an update was pushed out initially this year courtest of concerns the alterations would give FB access to a lot more info on users.

“WhatsApp has continuously been bombarding the users for some months now with persistent and aggressive pop-up texts to force people to accept its latest terms of usage and the privacy policy,” the director General Monique Goyens of BEUC said. “They have been telling their users that the access to the app will simply be cut off in case they don’t accept WhatsApp’s new terms. Yet the consumers are not known what they are accepting.”

The consumer rights organizations and BEUC from 8 member nations went on to file the objection to the executive Commission of the EU and the bloc’s network of a consumer authority.

WhatsApp on the other hand said the objection is based on the dispute of the update’s intent and impact and would go on to welcome the very chance to elaborate it to European Consumer Organisation or BEUC.

“The recent update goes on to explain the alternatives individuals have to message the business on the WhatsApp and gives additional transparency regarding how one collects and uses the data,” said WhatsApp in a prepared statement. “Also, the updates don’t expand one’s ability to go on and share data with FB, and doesn’t impact one’s privacy of the messages with family and friends, wherever they’re around the globe.”

‘There is no change to one’s chat’

The consumer rights group urged the consumer authorities of the European network and authorities of EU data protection to work collectively to address the privacy and the concerns of consumer rights.

In the statement, WhatsApp replied by saying security and privacy of the personal chat on the application won’t change.

“BEUC’s activity is based on the misunderstanding of a purpose and the very effect of an update to their terms of the service. The updates don’t expand the ability to share the data alongside Facebook, and doesn’t influence the privacy of one’s messages with family and friends, regardless of where they may be on the planet,” a spokesperson of the company said.

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