| 26 November 2022, Saturday |

WhatsApp has until July to comply with EU consumer law, EU says

The European Commission stated on Wednesday that Meta’s WhatsApp has until July to explain that a privacy policy update released in January complies with EU consumer law, in a dispute spurred by objections from consumer groups across Europe.

According to the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) and the European Network of Consumer Authorities, WhatsApp violated EU consumer law by failing to communicate the modifications in simple and understandable terms.

National enforcers have the power to impose sanctions on companies found breaching consumer laws.

The Consumer Protection Cooperation Network, which is made up of national consumer watchdogs and backed by the EU executive, sent a letter to WhatsApp in January asking for clarifications on its updated privacy policy.

The regulators said a March reply from the company did not convince them, prompting them to send a second letter on Wednesday.

“WhatsApp must ensure that users understand what they are agreeing to and how their personal data is used for commercial purposes, in particular to offer services to commercial partners,” the Commission’s justice chief Didier Reynders said in a statement.

WhatsApp said it would respond to the letter in due course.

“Our 2021 update did not change our commitment to user privacy or the way we operate our service, including how we process, use or share data with anyone, including Meta,” a spokesperson said.

  • Reuters