WhatsApp fined over $ 3 million for new privacy policy

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In what must be seen as a clear warning to all WhatsApp users around the world, the company has been fined for 'forcing' users to share their personal data with the global social network giant Facebook.

WhatsApp fined over $ 3 million for new privacy policy

The messaging platform, which was bought by Facebook in 2014, has been fined 3.3 million dollars in Italy over a new privacy policy that came into effect in August 2016, which allows the transfer of the user's personal information to its parent company.

A public interest litigation regarding the new privacy law has already be filled in the Indian Supreme Court, preliminary hearing for which has been scheduled for May 15.

But instead of allaying concerns of users, while presenting its view in front of a five-judge-bench of the country's top court last month, Facebook's counsel, had said, "Those who find the new privacy policy irksome or violative of their fundamental rights, can quit. We've given full freedom to users to withdraw from Facebook and WhatsApp."

The new policy seems to be under the scanner and being criticised not only in India but around the world, as according to reports, the popular app has been asked by data protection authorities of all the 28 members of the European Union to not share the user's data with its parent company as there are concerns over the validity of the consent given by the user.

"We're reviewing the decision and we look forward to responding to officials," a WhatsApp spokesman has been reported to have said.

In April, the Indian government had told the apex court that it was considering bringing in a law to protect user data and its sharing on internet messaging services and social networking sites.

The Delhi High Court order on September 23 last year, which had allowed WhatsApp to roll out its new privacy policy, while saying that it could not share the data collected before September 25 that year, was challenged in the Supreme Court.

While acquiring WhatsApp, Facebook had claimed that the respect for the privacy of its users was "coded into its DNA."

But in Europe, Italy's anti-trust regulator which has fined the company, reportedly alleged that "the opportunity for WhatsApp users to refuse the handover of data to Facebook was available 'but it was inadequately flagged'."

Also in April, Facebook, was banned from collecting information of WhatsApp users by German authorities, after it was found to have breached data protection laws after it was found to have breached data protection laws.

OneIndia News

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