Whatsapp Hit With $266 Million Fine for Privacy Breaches

NEW YORK -
The WhatsApp communications app on a smartphone, in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

Whatsapp has been fined €225 million ($266 million) by the European Union’s privacy watchdog for the company’s lack of information to its users.

Ireland’s Data Privacy Commissioner investigated allegations that Whatsapp violated the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, the Independent reported.

The privacy watchdog concluded that Whatsapp was not forthcoming with its users about what the company did with the data it collected and how it was processed by Whatsapp’s parent company, Facebook.

The messaging app was accused of violating regulations regarding transparency around processing personal data and that when data obtained by a different source the user must be notified of what that source is, how it is processed, and the type of personal data obtained.

In addition to the fine, WhatsApp has been ordered to update its privacy policy and user notification process within three months.

A WhatsApp spokesperson said the company is “committed to providing a secure and private service. We have worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive and will continue to do so.

“We disagree with the decision today regarding the transparency we provided to people in 2018 and the penalties are entirely disproportionate.”