Previously we had commented on an immense legal claim that France and some European countries brought against WhatsApp to prevent this platform share the information of its users with Facebook. Now the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) from United Kingdom finally reached an agreement with these applications to ensure the security of personal information of all European citizens.
To be more specific, the ICO announced this week that finished with his investigations and concluded that WhatsApp and Facebook they cannot share their users’ information for anything other than data processing.
However, such investigations they could not verify that WhatsApp has breached this mandate in the past, so until now none of these companies will be fined. Similarly, the ICO managed to convince WhatsApp and Facebook not to share their users’ information until they find a way to do so that is acceptable to the Regulation and Protection of General Information (GDPR).
“The information protection law does not prevent companies from sharing personal information – they simply have to follow legal requirements”, said Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, who also posted a letter addressed to WhatsApp as part of her official statement.
In other words, WhatsApp and Facebook managed to reach a truce with UK government entities, which is largely due to a lack of evidence regarding the flow of personal information from users for commercial purposes.
«I came to the conclusion that a compromise is the most effective regulatory tool that I can use, taking into account the circumstances of the case, ”Denham said. ‘As WhatsApp assured the UK that no user information has been shared with Facebook for purposes other than data processing, would not have been able to meet the necessary requirements to apply a monetary civil penalty under the Information Protection Act ».
The ICO investigation originally started in August 2016, when a WhatsApp update related to your privacy policies revealed that they planned to share their users’ information with Facebook. This could uncover new research into other applications such as Messenger and even Instagram, since both belong to the Facebook conglomerate and could also be engaging in the exchange of user information for commercial purposes.
The reason this type of news is so concerning is because these companies basically they are selling our personal information to the highest bidder, for the purpose of creating targeted advertising based on our preferences and friendships.
Worst of all, this problem extends well beyond Facebook, including to other extremely popular platforms such as Twitter and YouTube. Said platforms they have also received lawsuits from different countries around the world for selling the information of their users, but how these types of cases will have occurred they can last forever And each legal decision could take several years to arrive.