Facebook stopped sharing WhatsApp data for users in the EU

Facebook is pausing the use of European users’ WhatsApp data for product and advertising purposes.

The temporary pause comes as a result of conversations with data protection authorities over the past month as the social network wants to allow them time to articulate their concerns.

It was first reported by TechCrunch that Facebook agreed to pause data-sharing from WhatsApp users in the UK, following an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

However, Facebook has confirmed that it has received questions from multiple data protection authorities in Europe, all with different interests and varying requests for information.

The UK’s information commissioner — Elizabeth Denham — confirmed in a blog post that her office began the investigation into the “approach WhatsApp had decided to take in sharing customer information with Facebook” two months ago — in response to a change in WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

In the blog post, Denham said: “I don’t think users have been given enough information about what Facebook plans to do with their information, and I don’t think WhatsApp has got valid consent from users to share the information.”

Facebook has said it believes WhatsApp took sufficient steps to proactively highlight to users that their data would be shared with Facebook for the purposes described in its updated privacy policy.

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