WhatsApp gets slapped with a €3m fine in Italy over data-sharing

whatsapp fine 3 million italy

Italian antitrust authorities have fined WhatsApp a whopping €3 million EUR on grounds of data sharing without the consent of its users.

Given the pace with which European Union member-states and the soon-to-be-estranged United Kingdom have pursued WhatsApp on grounds of data sharing without consent, one might as well think that the Facebook-owned company might as well give up the ghost.

Italy’s antitrust authorities have delivered a whopping €3 million EUR fine over the instant messaging app’s decision to share user data with its parent company, Facebook.

Read: Facebook plans to introduce a “Disputed” Tag and a “Dislike” Button

In a ruling posted on Friday, the Italian watchdog stated that WhatsApp had ‘led its users to believe that they would not be able to continue with the service unless they gave their personal information to Facebook’ and cited that an “excessive emphasis” had been placed on the need to agree to WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions. Though the fine is massive by all standards, it is lower than the maximum €5m

Though the fine is massive by all standards, it is lower than the maximum €5 million EUR that could have been levied.

The decision follow’s Germany’s decision to ban Facebook from collecting any user data from WhatsApp, and the United Kingdom has similarly given notice to the company to cease its data-sharing endeavors.

WhatsApp has responded by stating that it plans to review the decision, and will respond to the officials in question. European regulators have charged  Facebook with making inaccurate claims when it was offered that user information could not automatically be exchanged between either Facebook’s core site and the instant messaging platform itself.

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What are your thoughts? Are you content to let Facebook and WhatsApp exchange your data, or would you prefer that the facility is challenged in South Africa on similar grounds? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

Source: The Financial Times

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