WhatsApp violate privacy laws on how it obtains users’ contacts

WhatsApp, a wildly popular instant-messaging app, has gotten itself into some trouble with the law. The Canadian and Dutch authorities are going after the application because it forces people to give access to all of their contacts.

Both the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and the Dutch Data Protection Authority claims the app violated privacy laws because users have to give access to all phone numbers in their address book, including both users and non-users of the app.

“This lack of choice contravenes (Canadian and Dutch) privacy law. Both users and non-users should have control over their personal data and users must be able to freely decide what contact details they wish to share with WhatsApp,” said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority.

This will be yet another problem that WhatsApp will have to discuss, as privacy advocates begin to crack down even harder on social networking companies.¬†WhatsApp claimed it would make changes to protect users’ privacy, including allowing the manual addition of contacts, according to the investigators. However, the social app probably didn’t follow through on what it should have done, and that’s make the mobile application more safer.

Who out there uses WhatsApp? Do you have any privacy concerns with the app?

[via Reuters]



Back to top ▴