How does the new WhatsApp policy affect European users?
The update in the terms and conditions of the instant messaging application has generated debate among experts.
According to Facebook, the company has been involved in a «disinformation campaign»Since it was announced that WhatsApp will allow sharing with the company the data of users from outside the EU.
The head of Facebook in Brussels, Aura Salla, has ensured that the update was created to provide "greater transparency for users and in the use of WhatsApp for business engagement with their customers", and added that "there are no changes in WhatsApp data sharing in the European region, including the UK. '
However, Tommaso Valleti, the chief competition economist of the European Commission (EC) between 2016 and 2019, disagrees with these statements. Valleti believes that the new policy will indeed affect users in the EU and also considers that it "does not comply" with European data protection regulations.
The change in the terms and conditions of the application service affects the exchange of metadata, that is, the phone number, operations data, information about how the user interacts with others (including companies), the device that he uses or the IP address, although it does not specify what it refers to when it indicates that "it is possible" that it shares other data available in the section "information we collect".
The economist explained that the update "does not comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, and it is not clear why the new terms and conditions are essential to run the service."
This regulation, which protects European citizens, was created in 2016 to strengthen rights in the digital age and facilitate economic activity through the Internet. It is in charge of giving consent for the combination of data between companies.