A German court has ruled that Facebook must cease collecting the personal data of WhatsApp users, and delete the data it has already imported.
It’s a tough day for Facebook – the world’s biggest social network has already come under fire in the United Kingdom and the European Union, and now a German court has ruled that the firm must cease its collection of user data from Whatsapp within the country.
The ruling further extends to data that Facebook has harvested from WhatsApp users; the court decided that the social media giant must delete all information it obtained without consent.
Late last year, Facebook updated WhatsApp’s terms and conditions to enable the former company to harvest user data from latter in a bid to ‘improve the experience’ of its core products. Namely, contact information, a user’s phone number, screen resolution, and the mobile operating system in use were transferred.
Hamburg data protection commissioner Johannes Casper commented that Facebook had not asked nor received users’ genuine consent for data transfers, despite offering a toggle for users to opt out of future exchanges. Caspar offered that “This is good news for the many millions of people who use the WhatsApp messenger service in Germany every day… they are not defenseless.”
The court’s decision means that Facebook will be unable to transfer the data of over 35 million German users enrolled on WhatsApp, though the company has announced its plans to appeal the ruling.
What are your thoughts? Should Facebook be able to transfer user data between its core platforms and WhatsApp? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!