12:29 GMT20 September 2020
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    Hamburg's Data Protection regulator has prohibited the interchange of German WhatsApp users' personal data between the messenger and Facebook, German media reported.

    The Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Johannes Caspar, issued a corresponding administrative order and stressed that such practices constitute a violation of data protection law. He also added that Facebook and WhatsApp are two independent companies that should treat their users' data according to their own data privacy policies.

    The order has banned Facebook from collecting and storing the data of German WhatsApp users. The company is also expected to delete the information it's already received from WhatsApp.

    According to Caspar, the German WhatsApp users should be able to decide whether they wish to have any connection to Facebook or not.

    "Facebook should have asked a corresponding permission beforehand. This was not the case," Caspar said.

    Following the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook two years ago, both companies stated that they wouldn't exchange the data of their users.

    However, in August, WhatsApp announced that it still was planning to share the phone numbers of its users with to Facebook. Although the messenger's users could oppose the sharing of some of their data with the social network, their telephone numbers — if they wanted to continue using the app — were to be sent to Facebook anyway.


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    violation, protection, data processing, WhatsApp, Facebook
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