European consumer organization complained about WhatsApp’s privacy policy

European consumer organization complained about WhatsApp's privacy policy

Facebook officials believe critics of the change have misunderstood the situation.

Tech giant Facebook’s WhatsApp messenger has faced a flurry of complaints from the European Consumer Organization and other organizations about its privacy policy update. The change has sparked outrage among users around the world, forcing some to switch to competing Telegram and Signal apps.

Recall that in January of this year, WhatsApp introduced a new privacy policy that allows it to share some data with Facebook and other partner companies.

Members of the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) criticized the changes and filed complaints with the European Commission and the European Network of Consumer Governments, saying that WhatsApp is unfairly forcing users to accept its new policy.

“The content of these notifications, their nature, timing and repetition place undue pressure on users and limit their freedom of choice. Thus, they are in violation of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005. WhatsApp was unable to explain the nature of the changes in plain language. This ambiguity constitutes a violation of EU consumer protection law, which obliges companies to use clear and transparent terms of contracts and commercial communications, ”the organization said in a statement.

According to Facebook representatives, BEUC misunderstood the situation.

“BEUC’s actions are based on a misunderstanding of the purpose and implications of updating our terms of service. The update does not expand our ability to exchange messenger data with Facebook and does not affect the privacy of users’ correspondence with friends or family, wherever they are. We would be delighted to have the opportunity to share the BEUC update to make it clear that it is a product for people, ”the company explained.

The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005 EC regulates unfair business practices in EU law as part of European consumer protection legislation.

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