consumer unions file a complaint

The modification of the rules of use of WhatsApp still does not pass. The European Bureau of Consumers’ Unions (BEUC) announced on Monday July 12 that it had filed a complaint with the European Commission against the courier service over this controversial change. The Beuc brings together 46 consumer defense organizations from 32 European countries. He lodged his complaint alongside eight of its members, including the UFC-Que Choisir in France, with the European Commission as well as the European network of authorities responsible for consumer protection.

The new rules are not “Neither transparent nor understandable for users”, say the complainants. They accuse WhatsApp of “Multiple violations of the rights of European consumers”. WhatsApp, Facebook’s messaging service, informed its roughly two billion users earlier this year that they had to agree to new terms of service. The company then postponed the implementation of these new rules to May 15 in the face of an outcry, users worried that the messaging system shares more data with its parent company Facebook.

Read also WhatsApp postpones changes to terms of service for three months

Forceful passage to obtain consent

Several countries, including Germany, have temporarily banned Facebook from using WhatsApp data. “For months, WhatsApp has bombarded users with aggressive and repeated messages to force them to accept its new terms of service and privacy policy”, denounced the director general of BEUC, Monique Goyens, in a press release. BEUC and its eight member organizations judge “Impossible for consumers to have a clear idea of ​​the consequences of the changes on the protection of their privacy, in particular as regards the transfer of their personal data to Facebook and other third parties”.

Read also: WhatsApp changes its privacy policy, here’s what will change for you

“WhatsApp has been deliberately vague about this and consumers would be exposed to extensive processing of their data without valid consent”, criticized Monique Goyens. “We call on the authorities to take swift action against WhatsApp to ensure that it respects the rights of consumers”, she added.

It is now up to the European Commission and national authorities responsible for consumer protection to decide to open an investigation. The Consumers Union also stresses that the new conditions of use of WhatsApp are being examined by the European data protection authorities for breaches of the legislation in this area.

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The World with AFP