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European complaint against the new WhatsApp terms of use

European complaint against the new WhatsApp terms of use

The European Consumer Organization BEUC has submitted a complaint to the European Commission against the terms of use of the WhatsApp chat application. It recently introduced new and controversial privacy rules.

WhatsApp introduced new privacy rules for users outside the European Union on May 15. These are controversial, because anyone who accepts the new terms of use is given permission to share WhatsApp metadata with Facebook, the messaging service’s parent company. It’s not about the content of the messages, it’s about information like who you’re talking to or the device you’re using. It can be interesting for advertisers. Anyone who does not accept the new terms and conditions will not be able to use WhatsApp after a while.

Although European GDPR rules in principle protect European consumers from such practices, concerns have also arisen in the European Union about the new rules. The European Bureau of Consumers’ Associations (BEUC) describes it as “neither transparent nor understandable to users”. BEUC has 46 consumer organizations from 32 European countries, including Test Aankoop for Belgium.

Multiple violations

Together with eight partner organisations, the European Consumer Organization is now approaching the European Commission and the European Consumer Centers Network. They accuse WhatsApp of committing “multiple violations of European consumer law”. “It is impossible for users to get a clear idea of ​​the consequences of the revised rules on protecting their privacy, particularly with regard to the transfer of personal data to Facebook and third parties,” it said in a press release on Monday. .

“WhatsApp has been intentionally ambiguous, exposing consumers to widespread use of their data without their explicit consent. We ask the authorities to take swift action against WhatsApp to ensure that consumer rights are respected.” Several European countries, including Germany, have already temporarily banned Facebook from using WhatsApp data.

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It is now up to the European Commission to determine whether an investigation into the new WhatsApp terms of use is necessary.