WhatsApp updates privacy policy after Irish regulator’s ruling

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WhatsApp is providing more details to users in Europe about the data it collects after Irish regulators fined the Facebook-owned messaging platform $267 million over allegations of violating privacy regulations. 

A spokesperson for Meta, the new name of WhatsApp’s parent company, said the Monday update will not be made for users outside of the European region because the update doesn’t change “the way we operate our service, including how we process, use or share your data with anyone, including Meta.”

The update comes more than two months after Ireland’s privacy watchdog fined WhatsApp $267 million over what it determined were violations of the European Union’s data privacy rules. It was the largest fine issued since the rules took effect in 2018. 

The watchdog alleged WhatsApp’s transparency rules about sharing user data with fellow Facebook-owned companies violated the rules. 

A WhatsApp spokesperson said the company disagrees with the regulator’s decision but has to comply with the ruling while it appeals. 

“WhatsApp was ordered by the Irish Data Protection Commission to update its privacy policy for people in the European region to meet specific provisions regarding how the information is presented to users. While we disagree with the decision and are appealing it because we believe we already provided clear information to all our users, we have modified the language in our European Region policy to meet the IDPC’s requirements,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

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