The Italian data protection authority is targeting Whatsapp’s privacy disclaimer

Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp-owned messaging service has not clearly communicated changes to its privacy policy to users, potentially making it difficult for people to decide whether to abandon the service, the Italian data protection authority said Thursday. WhatsApp, the most popular messaging platform in Italy, said on January 4 that it reserves the right to share certain data, including location and phone numbers, with Facebook and its units like Instagram and Messenger.

The move sparked protests among users in Italy and elsewhere, and prompted many to opt for rival services like Signal or Telegram. “The authority believes that it was not possible for users to understand what kind of changes were introduced, nor how the data would be processed after February 8,” the authority said in a statement.

The Italian data authority said it will carefully review Whatsapp’s disclaimer to assess its compliance with data privacy regulations, adding that it is ready to take urgent action. He also said he brought the matter to the attention of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB).

A spokesperson for WhatsApp said the company is reviewing the authority’s position in relation to the updated privacy disclaimer. “We want to make it clear that the changes … don’t affect the privacy of messages exchanged with friends or family … the update makes the way we collect and use data more transparent,” he said.

The changes to Whatsapp’s privacy policy have been reviewed globally, with Turkey’s board of directors initiating an investigation and legal appeal filed in India.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

News Highlights:

  • Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp-owned messaging service has not clearly communicated changes to its privacy policy to users, potentially making it difficult for people to decide whether to abandon the service, the Italian data protection authority said Thursday.
  • The Italian data protection authority is targeting Whatsapp’s privacy disclaimer