Germany Orders Facebook to End Collection of WhatsApp User Data: Facebook to Appeal

The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information on Tuesday issued an administrative order that prohibits Facebook from collecting and storing data of German WhatsApp users. It also ordered Facebook to delete all data that has already been forwarded by WhatsApp.

“After the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook two years ago, both parties have publicly assured that data will not be shared between them. The fact that this is now happening is not only a misleading of their users and the public, but also constitutes an infringement of national data protection law,” said Johannes Caspar, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.

The German privacy regulator accused Facebook of infringing on data protection law, since it had not obtained approval from WhatsApp’s 35 million users in Germany. The matter is under Caspar’s jurisdiction, since Facebook’s German headquarters is located in Hamburg.

Facebook said it would appeal against the order.

“We will appeal this order and we will work with the Hamburg DPA in an effort to address their questions and resolve any concerns,” said Facebook.