CNIL orders WhatsApp to terminate user data transfer with Facebook

The French privacy watchdog, CNIL has reportedly ordered popular mobile messaging service, WhatsApp to stop transferring user data with its parent company, Facebook. CNIL claims that the user data sharing for the purpose of business intelligence is against the Data Protection Act. In the notice issued to WhatsApp, CNIL states that the only way to decline user data transfer for the targeted advertising purpose was to uninstall the application.

Reports cite that a year earlier, French privacy watchdogs and privacy experts comprising CNIL had issued first warning against WhatsApp, when the messaging company unveiled that it would start sharing user data with Facebook. In fact, WhatsApp did not resolve the complaint filed by CNIL related to user data sharing back then.

The CNIL had requested WhatsApp to provide a sample copy of the French user data shared with Facebook Inc., but it could not supply the requested sample. As a result, the Chair of National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) decided to issue an official notice to WhatsApp in order to comply with the Data Protection Act within a month, reports cite.

As per reliable sources, the mobile messaging service provider said that the company was located in the U.S. and it was only subjected to follow the legislation of that country. In fact, as per the current legislative scenario, the CNIL and other Europe based watchdog organizations have limited rights to levy fine on the companies which do not follow regulatory norms. In this regard, it has been reported that the new legislative norm would be deployed next year, which will allow European regulatory bodies to impose fines of nearly 4% of particular company’s overseas revenue.

According to reports, this has not been the first case where WhatsApp has been convicted. Germany had also issued a notice against Facebook to stop collecting user data from WhatsApp. In addition, in response to the frequent criticism, Facebook has actually agreed to stop gathering data from WhatsApp users across the UK.