German regulator seeks order to stop Facebook from using WhatsApp data

WhatsApp has been trying to introduce a new privacy policy for some time that would seemingly give it more freedom to share data with Facebook, its owner. This was meant to start at the beginning of 2021 but was delayed in January, with WhatsApp citing “misinformation causing concern.”

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At the time, WhatsApp tried to clarify proceedings. It said the new privacy policy does not change how it shares data about individual users and conversations with Facebook. Instead, WhatsApp says it will enable new features that let people start chats with businesses.

Therefore, the new privacy policy is supposedly only being weakened in ways that would affect businesses using the WhatsApp platform. It seems WhatsApp wants to enable customer support and commerce experiences to happen through the messenger, perhaps similar to Apple Business Chat.

However, various privacy-conscious groups remain skeptical. Via Bloomberg, a regulator in Germany is seeking to block any rollout of such changes until it can complete an investigation. The commission said it wants to ensure that there is not an “abusive exploitation of data power” taking place. Facebook will be able to respond at a hearing.

This is by no means the first time that Facebook and WhatsApp data sharing have provoked the ire of regulators.

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Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.