WhatsApp Has One Month to Comply With EU Consumer Law

Meta’s market-leading messaging service WhatsApp has been given a July deadline to show that a privacy policy update introduced in January effectively complies with EU consumer law, the European Commission said Wednesday, in a case prompted by complaints from consumer bodies across Europe.

Whatsapp attempted a controversial change to its Terms of Service in 2021, prompting a user backlash and individual responses from National Competition and Consumer Protection authorities. The backlash forced Whatsapp to walk back many of these changes, particularly those involving its proposed handling of information and what data it would automatically share with parent company Meta.

“WhatsApp must ensure that users understand what they accept and how their personal data is used for commercial purposes, in particular, to offer services to business partners,” said Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders in a statement.

Whatsapp responded to initial orders by the Commission by assuring the authority they would provide customers with all the relevant information regarding the use of their personal data. However, EU authorities considered these efforts to be insufficient so far.

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