The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) and the European Network of Consumer Authorities told WhatsApp last year that they had failed to clarify the changes in clear and intelligible language, in violation of the bloc’s laws. .
National regulators in EU members can sanction companies for breaches.
WhatsApp has now agreed to explain changes to EU user contracts and how these might affect their rights, and has agreed to prominently display the option for users to accept or reject the changes and to ensure that users can easily close pop-up notifications about updates.
The company also confirmed that users’ personal data is not shared with third parties or other Meta companies, including Facebook, for advertising purposes.
“Consumers have the right to understand what they are accepting and what this choice means in concrete terms, so that they can decide whether they want to continue using the platform,” said Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders.
Last month, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), the EU’s top privacy regulator, said Meta needed to reassess the legal basis for how Facebook and Instagram use personal data to target advertising in the European Union and fined the social media giant 390 million euros (about Rs. 3,500 crore) for the breaches.
The DPC, which is the lead privacy regulator for many of the world’s biggest tech companies in the EU, ordered Meta to bring its data processing operations into compliance within three months.
The sanctions brought the total fines imposed on Meta so far by the Irish regulator to €1.3 billion (around Rs. 11,500 crore). He currently has 11 other open investigations on Meta Services.
The DPC said that as part of its ruling, the EU privacy watchdog purported to order the Irish regulator to carry out a new investigation which would cover all of Facebook and Instagram’s data processing operations.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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