Following an inquiry, the Irish data protection authority slapped WhatsApp with a €225 million (£190 million) punishment, the second-highest in GDPR history, and ordered the company to amend its rules. WhatsApp is contesting the penalties, but it is changing its policies in Europe and the United Kingdom to comply.
“There are no changes to our operations or contractual arrangements with users,” the firm said in a statement announcing the move. “Users will not be asked to agree to anything or take any action in order to continue using WhatsApp.”
WhatsApp customers protested in January about a change to the business’s agreements that they thought would result in data being shared with parent firm Facebook, which is now known as Meta.
Many people believed that refusing to accept the revised rules would result in their accounts being banned.
In practise, not much had changed. WhatsApp, on the other hand, was obliged to postpone its modifications and fight public opinion for months.
During the chaos, millions of users downloaded WhatsApp rivals like Signal.
The second-largest GDPR penalties was handed to WhatsApp.
After a backlash, WhatsApp begins a privacy campaign.
WhatsApp addressed these issues explicitly in a blog post regarding the new changes mandated by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC).
“This upgrade has no impact on how we process, utilise, or share user data with anybody, including Meta, or how we operate our service,” the company noted.
It also stated that “users would not be required to agree to anything new or take any action in order to continue using WhatsApp.”
The corporation was also quick to point out that their service is end-to-end encrypted, which means that only the sender and receiver can access messages.
The punishment imposed on WhatsApp in September was the outcome of a multi-year inquiry into whether the social media company was sufficiently clear about how it manages user data.