Following an investigation by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), WhatsApp has agreed not to share any users’ data with its parent company Facebook until it can do so lawfully and inline with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The messaging up has signed an undertaking giving a commitment to not sharing any personal data with Facebook until it can do so within the GDPR framework. But, seeing as WhatsApp has never shared UK user data with Facebook – other than as a data processor – it has not been fined.
“My investigation has not been concerned about WhatsApp’s sharing of personal data with Facebook when Facebook are only providing a support service to WhatsApp,” said commissioner Elizabeth Denham. “The technical term for such sharing is that WhatsApp can use Facebook as a data processor. This is common practice and if done consistently with the law, under contract, does not generally raise data protection concerns.”
Denham added that see compliments WhatsApp for agreeing to sign the undertaking, but will continue to closely monitor the app to make sure it doesn’t step out of line.