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WhatsApp agrees to be more transparent over privacy policy changes: European Union


After unilaterally imposing its terms of service on users for over two years, Meta-owned WhatsApp has now promised to be more open about the changes to its privacy policies, according to a statement from the European Commission on Monday. WhatsApp further said that it will explain to its users how the new privacy legislation and modifications made to it affect EU users’ rights.

“Consumers have a right to understand what they agree to and what that choice entails concretely, so that they can decide whether they want to continue using the platform,” said Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders in a statement.

In 2021, the messaging app updated its terms of service in a hasty manner. The update was said to have a jargon-filled, non-cohesive language of terms, eventually, not making clear exactly what was changing in the new update and confusing the general public. WhatsApp users could accept the update or otherwise risk losing access to the platform.

The Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs (BEUC), an umbrella organization of 46 independent consumer organizations from 32 countries, filed a complaint with the European Commission and the European network of consumer agencies in July 2021. Bloc issued a series of warnings to the corporation, urging it to address and fix the issues.

Meta has recently come under fire from the EU on several occasions. On Monday, the messaging service additionally reaffirmed that it did not share user personal information with any organizations for advertising purposes, including Meta’s affiliates Facebook and Instagram.

Regulators in the 27-nation bloc imposed two fines totaling $414 million (390 million euros) for privacy violations in December 2022. They also forbade the corporation from convincing consumers to accept customized adverts based on their online behavior.



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