WhatsApp Data Sharing Has UK’s Information Commission’s Office as Watchdog


Reuters reported on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, at 6:56 p.m. BST, about a new development that took place with respect to popular messaging service, WhatsApp’s controversial decision to share user data with its parent company, Facebook Inc. The messaging service, which currently has more than a billion users, made the disputable announcement to share users’ phone numbers with Facebook, on Thursday. It defended the decision as a step to help businesses using the service to send messages, by permitting increased advertisements and friend recommendations on the social media network. Moreover, the company as a word of assurance, designed to alleviate the fears of the users, clarified that their customers have the option to not share their account information with Facebook.   

The Information Commission’s Office (ICO), which is Britain’s own data privacy regulator, in an announcement made on Friday, expressed their intent to act as a watchdog over the newly implemented privacy policy change of WhatsApp. However, the regulator also made it clear that it does not have the power to block the move.  

Reuters reported that ICO made the decision in response to the mixed reactions, which the new privacy policy change invited. According to the ICO, WhatsApp’s announcement has been both welcomed and criticized. Since, there are users who may be worried, due to the little control provided by the updated privacy policy, as well as those who may take it positively.

Written by Bashar Saajid
Edited by Jeanette Smith


REUTERS: UK regulator to monitor WhatsApp’s data sharing with Facebook

Image Courtesy of Álvaro Ibáñez’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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