Facebook set to sign deal for WhatsApp data sharing

DataIQ News

Facebook is on the verge of agreeing a deal with the regulator that will allow it to finally start using data gathered from WhatsApp users, after the firm was forced to suspend the controversial plans in November last year.

The issue was sparked in August when WhatsApp admitted it was starting to share users’ phone numbers with Facebook, helping it to target ads and friend recommendations across the social media network.

The German authorities were first out of the blocks, with Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection & Freedom of Information Johannes Caspar ruling that the social network had not obtained sufficient consent from WhatsApp's 35 million German users.

UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham quickly followed suit, saying Facebook was potentially flouting UK data protection legislation. The EU then followed suit.

But now Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon, who is lead EU regulator for Facebook because its HQ is in the country, has now said that she hopes a final agreement will be reached this summer.

“I think we are in agreement with the parties – WhatsApp and Facebook – that the quality of the information provided to users could have been clearer, could have been more transparent and could have been expressed in simpler terms,” she told Reuters.  “We are working towards a solution on that.”

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