The UK Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has closed its investigation into the data sharing between Facebook and it’s messaging app WhatsApp, concluding that neither platform shares data with one another in any way other than the lawful processing of basic data.
A summary of the enquiry
As a result of the investigation, WhatsApp does not face a fine from the ICO but it has been obliged to sign an agreement that it will not share personal data with Facebook until the two platforms have mutually come up with a way of doing so which is compliant with the GDPR, coming into effect in May this year.
What does this mean for Marketers?
The message that this sends to big tech companies and marketing professionals is that they will be expected to exhibit accountability and full transparency when extracting personal data from their users/customers from now on. It also sets the stage for the rest of the EU whose own Data Protection bodies will no doubt follow suit; both France and Germany are currently undergoing similar investigations concerning the behaviour of WhatsApp and Facebook themselves.
WhatsApp released an official statement regarding the enquiry in which it said:
“WhatsApp cares deeply about the privacy of our users. We collect very little data and every message is end-to-end encrypted. As we’ve repeatedly made clear for the last year, we are not sharing data in the ways that the UK Information Commissioner has said she is concerned about anywhere in Europe.”