Tech

Yahoo, WhatsApp Land In Hot Waters, EU Issues Warning On Recent Privacy Policy Change

By Jiran , Oct 29, 2016 04:50 AM EDT
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The Federal Communications Commission has recently issued new rules to protect broadband users' data from being used and shared by Internet Service Providers. Now, the European Union (EU) has taken notice of a change in the privacy policy of WhatsApp. It also has raised concern over Yahoo's infamous data breach.

According to The Wall Street Journal, European privacy regulators have sent letters to both WhatsApp and Yahoo Inc. The two companies have been warned about possible violations of data-protection rules.

WhatsApp Sharing User Information With Facebook

The EU's data-protection authorities that represent 28 states have expressed concern over the shared personal data. In a statement, EU revealed that they had requested WhatsApp to stop sharing personal data with its parent company Facebook. This is until "appropriate legal protections could be assured". Otherwise, they end up violating EU's data protection law.

According to Reuters, WhatsApp has recently made a change in its privacy policy. It allowed the messaging service app to share users' phone numbers with Facebook. Apparently, this has attracted privacy regulators in Europe.

The data-protection authorities said that WhatsApp can share user information with Facebook for purposes that are not contained in the terms of service users signed up for. This means that WhatsApp is using personal data without the user's consent.

Reuters further reports that a WhatsApp spokeswoman has said that the company is committed to respecting applicable law. WhatsApp is already working to address the inquiry of the data-protection authorities.

Yahoo's Massive Data Breach

Yahoo also received a letter from the EU privacy regulators. The subject was around the infamous 500 million Yahoo accounts that were hacked. Apparently, the said massive data breach is a concern to EU's Article 20 Working Party (WP29).

Yahoo is asked to communicate with EU authorities about everything that concerns the data breach. EU wants to ensure the protection of affected EU citizens. The said users should be notified of the hacked data's adverse effects. Yahoo also has to cooperate with the upcoming inquiries and investigations of the data-protection authorities.

The EU regulators are set to discuss the cases of WhatsApp and Yahoo in November.

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