Because of this, and what it perceives as a lack of cooperation from WhatsApp, CNIL said it had chose to issue a formal notice, and make that notice public. It started looking into the data sharing practice after WhatsApp confirmed that it had updated its terms of service to notify users that it will share data with Facebook.
The CNIL stated that because WhatsApp doesn't tell users they are collecting information for business intelligence and transferring it to to Facebook, or ask their permission to do so, and doesn't provide a way to prevent this without uninstalling the app entirely, this violates "the fundamental freedoms of users".
The policy stated that data farmed by WhatsApp could be sent over to the Zuckerborg for targeted advertising, security and business intelligence purposes. This isn't the first time European data watchdogs have reprimanded Facebook for their data collection methods, in September of 2016, Germany ordered Facebook to cease collecting data from WhatsApp user, while Facebook agreed to stop collecting WhatsApp data in the United Kingdom in November of 2016.
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"If the goal of security can be regarded as essential to the proper functioning of the application, it is different from the objective of "business intelligence", the agency said.
The Working Party 29 (WP29) group, which includes the chiefs of all the national data protection agencies in the European Union, has been investigating WhatsApp's data sharing with Facebook ever since Facebook acquired WhatsApp. "From the current state of affairs we are not convinced that users have given their effective consent to Facebook's data tracking and the merging of data into their Facebook account", said FCO head Andreas Mundt. If WhatsApp does not comply it could sanction the company, it said.
"We will continue to work with the CNIL to ensure users understand what information we collect, as well as how it's used".
European data protection authorities can only impose small fines at the moment, but a new EU privacy law entering into force next year will increase fines to up to 4 percent of a company's global turnover. The WP29 observed that WhatsApp has been transferring its users' data to Facebook for "business intelligence" and "security" purposes. The cartel office (FCO) said Facebook was exerting its "market dominant" position to gather excessive amounts of data, the Financial Times reports.