German DPA prohibits data transfer from WhatsApp to Facebook

download (27)On September 26, 2016, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information issued an order prohibiting Facebook to collect and store data of German WhatsApp users.  The decision came after WhatsApp issued a statement informing its users that the application’s terms and privacy policy was updated, as a consequence of WhatsApp’s joining Facebook.

Following the wave of concerns expressed by DPAs all over the world, the German Authority issued the order prohibiting Facebook from processing German WhatsApp users data, as well as the deletion of the data already forwarded to Facebook.

According to the DPA, Facebook processes data through its subsidiary in Hamburg and it must therefore respect German data protection law.  The transfer of data between companies is only admissible “if both companies, the one that provides the data (WhatsApp) as well as the receiving company (Facebook) have established a legal basis for doing so. Facebook, however, neither has obtained an effective approval from the WhatsApp users, nor does a legal basis for the data reception exist.”

 

The press release of the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information is available at https://www.datenschutz-hamburg.de…

 

For more information, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal.

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