FRANCE HAS DEMANDED that WhatsApp stops sharing user data with its parent company Facebook.
According to a public notice posted by French privacy watchdog CNIL (which stands for the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des Libertés, in case you wondered), the messaging platform has one month to comply with the order.
The ultimatum comes after WhatsApp updated its terms of service last year, stating that it will now share data with Facebook to develop targeted advertising, security measures, as well as business intelligence.
The CNIL later ruled that while WhatsApp's intention of improving security measures was valid, the app's business intelligence reason wasn't acceptable because the data of its 10 million French users have actually never been processed for targeted advertising purposes.
As a result, its investigations found violations of the French Data Protection Act.
"Following this update, the WP29 (group of European CNIL) requested explanations from Whatsapp on the processing implemented on the occasion of this data transfer and asked the company to stop this transfer for targeted advertising purpose," states the notice.
"The WP29 also mandated its subgroup in charge of the cooperation on investigations and sanctions ("enforcement subgroup") to coordinate actions of the authorities planning to conduct investigations. "
"The Chair of the CNIL [has] decided, in order to verify the compliance of the processing implemented by Whatsapp with the Act, to carry out online inspections, to send a questionnaire to the company and then to summon it to a hearing."
If WhatsApp fails to comply with the CNIL's formal notice within the specified timescale, the Chair may appoint an internal investigator, who may draw up a report proposing that the CNIL's restricted committee responsible for examining breaches of the Data Protection Act issue a sanction against the company. µ
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