Irish Watchdog Fines WhatsApp $267M after EU Privacy Probe

By Legal Wires 3 Minutes Read

Ireland’s Privacy Watchdog has fined Whatsapp $267 Million after an investigation showing it has breached the European Union Data Protection rules on transparency about sharing people’s data with other Facebook companies.

The Data Protection Commission has ordered Whatsapp to take remedial actions so that the data processing complies with the European Union rules.

Whatsapp contended that the fine was out of proportion and it would appeal the decision.

“We have worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive and will continue to do so. We disagree with the decision today regarding the transparency we provided to people in 2018 and the penalties are entirely disproportionate.” said the company.

The Commission said the case examined whether Facebook followed GDPR requirements to be transparent for both users and those who didn’t use its service, including how people’s data is processed between WhatsApp and other Facebook companies.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA). It addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

Therefore under GDPR, the Irish watchdog acts as the lead regulator in cross-border data privacy cases for Whatsapp and many other big tech companies that have their European headquarters located in Dublin.

It’s the second penalty issued by the Irish watchdog under GDPR. Last year it fined Twitter 450,000 euros for a security breach.

Legal Wires

Team @LegalWires

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