Italian data authority targets WhatsApp privacy disclaimer By Reuters

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MILAN (Reuters) – The messenger WhatsApp, owned by Facebook (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc, did not clearly communicate changes to its privacy policy to users, which could make it difficult for people to decide whether to leave the service, the authority said on Thursday data protection of Italy. WhatsApp, Italy’s most popular messaging platform, said on January 4 that it reserved the right to share some data, including location and phone numbers, with Facebook and its units like Instagram and Messenger. The move has sparked protests among users in Italy and elsewhere, leading many to opt for rival services such as Signal or Telegram. “The authority believes that it was not possible for users to understand what kind of changes were being introduced, or how the data would be treated after February 8,” the authority said in a statement. The Italian data authority said it would look closely at WhatsApp’s policy disclaimer to assess its compliance with data privacy rules, adding that it was ready to urgently intervene. He also said that he had brought the problem to the attention of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB). A WhatsApp spokeswoman said the company was investigating the authority’s position regarding the updated privacy disclaimer. “We want to make it clear that the changes … do not affect the privacy of messages that are exchanged with friends or family … the update makes it more transparent how we collect and use data,” he said. Changes to WhatsApp’s privacy policy have come under scrutiny globally, with Turkey’s competition board launching an investigation and a legal challenge filed in India.

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