German data regulator issued a ban today to prohibit Facebook from continuing to collect data from WhatsApp German users.
The head of the Hamburg State Data Protection Agency, Johannes Caspar, issued this three-month emergency ban. In addition, Casper also asked a group of EU data regulators to take action and issue a ruling in 27 member states.
The Hamburg State Data Protection Agency said last month that it would seek to block data sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook. Casper said today that the new WhatsApp terms are invalid because they are opaque, inconsistent, and too broad.
Casper said in a statement: “The order is designed to protect the rights and freedoms of millions of German users. We need to prevent damage and disadvantages associated with this black box operation.”
WhatsApp stated that Casper’s statement was wrong and that the ban would not prevent the introduction of the new terms. WhatsApp said in an email statement: “The actions of the German regulator are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose and effects of this update.”
Earlier this month, WhatsApp published an article on “Privacy and Security” on its official website, aiming to urge users to accept the latest account policies and updated terms before May 15. Kasper said that Facebook may have been collecting data incorrectly, and that it is important to prevent misuse of this information to influence the September German election.