The Strategist

WhatsApp fined €225 million for violating EU data protection rules

09/03/2021 - 09:18

The Irish watchdog fined WhatsApp a record €225 million for violating EU data protection rules. The messenger was accused of insufficiently informing users about the collection and use of their personal information. The company intends to appeal the decision.

The Data Protection Commission of Ireland has fined messenger WhatsApp for €225 million for violating EU rules on user privacy. The agency's decision is published on the website of the European Data Protection Board. The fine imposed on WhatsApp was the largest fine ever issued by the Irish regulator for this violation, CNBC notes.

According to the commission's conclusion, WhatsApp does not sufficiently inform users about how it collects and uses their personal data and what information it shares with its parent company Facebook. The Irish agency also demanded that WhatsApp bring its privacy policy into line with European law.

Earlier this year, WhatsApp announced an update to its user agreement, adding a clause about sharing users' personal data with Facebook. A special section on the messenger's website specifies that it, among other things, transfers account registration data (such as phone number), transaction data and information about the user's device, including the IP address. Initially the new rules were planned to be introduced in February, but amid criticism and user churn, the company postponed the date to May 15.