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WhatsApp fined US$267m over European GDPR rules

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has fined WhatsApp US$267 million for violating the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

user iconReporter
Fri, 03 Sep 2021
WhatsApp fined US$267m over European GDPR rules
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Ireland’s privacy watchdog, the Data Protection Commission, fined WhatsApp US$267 million for failing to comply with the EU’s GDPR rules, it was confirmed in early September.

According to the findings, the platform breached the EU's information rules by sharing user’s data with other companies within Facebook, without first confirming that the data would be shared with the app's users.

The ruling came after lengthy deliberation when the DPC submitted their ruling to the EU’s data regulators in December last year.

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In fact, the initial fine was expected to be $59 million, with the EU’s Data Protection Board encouraging the fine be raised to US$267 million.

According to the findings, the Basis on Inquiry stated that “the Commission received a number of complaints from individual data subjects concerning the data processing activities of WhatsApp. These complaints were received from both users and non-users of WhatsApp’s services”.

Media outlets have since reported that WhatsApp disagreed with the report’s findings.

“WhatsApp is committed to providing a secure and private service. We have worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive and will continue to do so. We disagree with the decision today regarding the transparency we provided to people in 2018 and the penalties are entirely disproportionate,” the company said.

Facebook bought WhatsApp in February 2014, with a total price of US$4 billion in cash and US$12 billion in Facebook shares.

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