Whatsapp is changing its privacy policies in Europe after the Irish Data Protection Commissioner fined the company €225 million and ordered it to amend its policies (DPC).
While Whatsapp is appealing the fine, it is changing its practices in accordance with the court’s ruling. Whatsapp emphasizes that the adjustments will have no effect on the app’s actual service.
The fine, which was levied in September, is regarded as the second-largest General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) fine. Amazon has received the largest GDPR penalties in history.
Early this year, a proposed update to Whatsapp prompted anger in Europe due to concerns about how user data is shared, especially with Whatsapp’s parent firm. Many Whatsapp users subsequently abandoned the program in favor of its competitors.
Whatsapp Modifies Privacy Policies in Europe
As a result of the €225 million fine and order to amend its policy issued by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, Whatsapp is changing its privacy policies across Europe (DPC).
According to a BBC story, these modifications will only apply to European privacy policies, not those in the rest of the globe. Whatsapp has also stated that the adjustments will have no effect on the app’s operation.
The modifications will “provide extra information around our existing processes” and will be implemented immediately.
“No changes have been made to our processes or contractual arrangements with users, and users will not be asked to agree to anything or take any action in order to continue using WhatsApp,” the firm stated in its announcement.
The European Reaction
According to the BBC, Whatsapp encountered user outrage earlier this year over “an amendment to the firm’s conditions that many felt would result in data being shared with parent company Facebook.” Facebook has since changed its name to Meta.
Many users misinterpreted the new update to indicate that they had to agree to the new terms and conditions or have their accounts blocked. As a result, many Whatsapp users switched to alternatives such as Telegram and Signal.
Since then, Whatsapp has been working hard to clear up the uncertainty surrounding the latest version. It has also been compelled to postpone the adjustments it had planned.
Whatsapp has emphasized that the new upgrade has no effect on how it handles, utilizes, and shares user data, including with its parent company, Meta. In addition, the business adds that users will not be forced to agree to anything in order to continue using the app.
€225 Million Penalty
According to the BBC, the €225 million punishment was imposed in September following a years-long probe on the app’s openness in handling user data.
Initially, the DPC planned to recommend a fine ranging from €30 million to €50 million. The figure was modified after the DPC conferred with regulators from the other European Union (EU) member countries.