Close on the heels of agreeing to stop data sharing between itself and WhatsApp in the UK, Facebook has now announced that it will do so in Europe as well. EU privacy watchdogs the Article 29 Working Party had issued a letter to WhatsApp founder Jan Koum in October this year, asking it to suspend sharing while it investigated whether the system was in line with its policies.
Facebook confirmed that it had suspended WhatsApp user data collection for the purposes of products and advertising in Europe for over a week now. The Financial Times reports that the pause has come about as a consequence of clashes with European officials over the course of the past month. The break will now let both sides take a breather and articulate their concerns.
The EU-spanning suspension was also confirmed by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s office which is Facebook’s primary regulator. The agency said it was going to take appropriate action after looking into the quality of the notice which consumers were delivered before making their choice as to whether or not to continue being a member.
Facebook’s under fire in a number of nations for data protection violations. The UK, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain have all opened up investigations into the matter. WhatsApp was even dragged to court in India after two petitioners argued against its policy reversal.