Going forward Germany won’t allow Facebook to collect data from WhatsApp users.

Privacy watchdog says data-sharing relationship is a scheme. Goes on to say it is ‘an infringement of national data protection law’

Facebook and WhatsApp
Facebook and WhatsApp

If you’re not familiar with the Facebook and WhatsApp relationship, it’s a simple one. Facebook collects data from the app’s users. In Germany, they have now been ordered to stop. This is the first regulatory issue to a controversial data-sharing scheme that the social media company announced in August. In a statement published, Germany’s privacy watchdog said the sharing of information between WhatsApp user data with Facebook is “an infringement of national data protection law.” The regulatory body also ordered Facebook to delete all data that has been transferred from WhatsApp in Germany to date.

All of Europe has been monitoring Facebook’s data-sharing scheme closely. Facebook acquired the app in 2014. WhatsApp co-founder, Jan Koum, told users their privacy wouldn’t be compromised. This all changed in August. WhatsApp announced it will share some user data — including phone numbers — with Facebook. They also plan to allow businesses to contact users directly through its app.

 Hamburg data protection commissioner, Johannes Caspar, said in a statement on that Facebook has not “obtained effective approval” from the app’s users. Caspar also implied that Facebook may eventually seek to collect a lot more data from users. “This administrative order protects the data of about 35 million WhatsApp users in Germany,” Caspar said. “It has to be their decision, whether they want to connect their account with Facebook. Therefore, Facebook has to ask for their permission in advance. This has not happened.”

Facebook shared a response that said the company will appeal the decision in Germany. The statement also went on to say, “Facebook complies with EU data protection law,” the spokesperson said. “We will appeal this order and we will work with the Hamburg DPA in an effort to address their questions and resolve any concerns.”