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Germany bans Facebook from processing data collected via WhatsApp

Christian Fernsby |
A German regulator on Tuesday prohibited Facebook from processing personal data collected via its WhatsApp messaging app.

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In a statement, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information said the decision was made under an urgent procedure of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), adding that the “order is immediately enforceable."

It cited how WhatsApp requested its users agree to new privacy policy rules by May 15, thus enabling WhatsApp to share personal data with Facebook.

"There is no basis for processing of personal data of WhatsApp users by Facebook for their own purpose," the statement read.

Johannes Caspar, Hamburg's commissioner for data protection and freedom of information, said: "The order is intended to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the many millions of users who approve to the terms of use throughout Germany.

"The aim is to prevent disadvantages and damage associated with such a black-box procedure."

In January, WhatsApp forced many users to agree to new privacy rules for sharing personal data with Facebook companies but after facing a large backlash postponed the step till May 15.

Turkey also suspended the new rules and opened an investigation into the firm.

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