After all the drama revolving around WhatsApp’s recent policy which reportedly was intended to share user data with Facebook, seems like WhatsApp is still under the scrutiny. The European Commission has now accused Facebook for providing misleading information while acquiring the famous chat messenger.
Facebook, while acquiring WhatsApp, revealed that it will be not possible for the company to match the user accounts of both the companies. However, this is in contrary to the recent amendments done to the WhatsApp policy which said that WhatsApp, in some situations, will share user data with its parent company Facebook to enhance certain services.
Going back in time, a line in the new policy of WhatsApp read – “In fact, Facebook will not use your WhatsApp messages for any purpose other than to assist us in operating and providing our Services’ – which clearly indicates that user messages will actually be shared with Facebook to provide certain services.
Coming back to the EU accusation, Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner said – “The Commission’s preliminary view is that Facebook gave us incorrect or misleading information during the investigation into its acquisition of WhatsApp,” He further states that the possibility of Facebook matching the IDs from both the websites was even popping up ever since the social network giant seek for the approval of EU for the merger. However, EU justifies this by saying that it took more of a preliminary view instead of digging in to the possibility and the probability of matching user accounts was not the only information on which they relied for the approval.
Nevertheless, Facebook can now take further action till January 31 post which, if the accusation is rendered legit, the US based company will be imposed a fine of about $179 million or up to 1 percent of its turnover based on 2015 figures. Facebook can appeal the fine which then will be handled by European Court of Justice which has a past reputation of denying similar penalties.
Consequently, WhatsApp has already agreed on not sharing any user data with Facebook. Further, the spokeswoman also clarified that Facebook will give all the information to EU officials required for resolving the issue.