The Hamburg commissioner for data protection and freedom of information, Johannes Caspar, is looking to stop Facebook from aggregating the data from WhatsApp, fearing that the company would use it to expand its marketing and advertising business.
Caspar said in a statement: “Currently, there is reason to believe that the data sharing provisions between WhatsApp and Facebook are intended to be unlawfully enforced due to the lack of voluntary and informed consent. In order to prevent unlawful mass data sharing and to put an end to unlawful consent pressure on millions of people, a formal administrative procedure has now been initiated to protect data subjects.”
The Hamburg commissioner previously successfully issued a similar order against Facebook four and a half years ago for updating WhatsApp’s terms and services with changes regarding information sharing across Facebook companies. The order was confirmed by two instances after Facebook took legal action against it, and data sharing between Facebook and WhatsApp has been more limited in the EU than in other regions ever since.