WhatsApp's Privacy Policy Needs Information Regulator's Authorisation

WhatsApp's Privacy Policy Needs Information Regulator's Authorisation

- Information Regulator SA (IR) has released a statement about Facebook Inc's new privacy policy for WhatsApp

- IR says that the changes to the privacy policy are not compliant with the Protection of Personal Information Act

- IR noted that they have written to Facebook and are happy to discuss the issues raised with the company

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South Africa's Information Regulator (IR) revealed that Facebook Inc cannot share any contact information collected from WhatsApp users with its other companies without receiving authorisation from IR.

The agency has written to Facebook about the changes to WhatsApp's privacy policy that could possibly result in South African users being kicked off the application.

IR said it made the decision in accordance with section 57 of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

Information regulator worries about less WhatsApp privacy
South Africa's Information Regulator revealed that Facebook cannot share users info without their authorisation. Image: Kyodo News
Source: Getty Images

Speaking on the difference in privacy policy in the EU compared to South Africa, the IR said it was concerned. The IR noted that they are happy to discuss the issues with Facebook SA to ensure that there is full compliance.

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"The IR has indicated to Facebook SA, that it is willing and committed to have a round-table discussion regarding the issues raised to ensure there is full compliance by the WhatsApp Privacy Policy with the provisions of the POPIA and other pertinent legal instruments."

Take a look at the statement from IR below:

Previously, Briefly.co.za reported that WhatsApp has been losing users to Signal and Telegram after updating its terms. Sensor Tower, a data analytics company revealed that 100 000 users downloaded Signal and Telegram downloads jumped by 2.2 million.

WhatsApp is owned by Facebook which has told users that the social media company would be collecting WhatsApp user's data. Tech experts and app users were highly critical of the new update.

Editor-In-Chief of Fast Company (SA) magazine, Wesley Diphoko said that this was a complete U-turn by Facebook who had previously promised its users that they would not use their data. Social media users took to Twitter to share their reactions to WhatsApp's change to its terms of service:

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@hammad479 said:

"#WhatsAppheadquarters after reading *boycott whatsapp* at whatsapp statuses."

@PaikinAndEggs wrote:

"'Telegram me' or 'send me a Signal' are gonna be confusing in the coming months."

@RoryPetzer tweeted:

"Zuckerberg's just waiting for Black Friday to buy Telegram and Signal too."

@dawksh shared:

"Is WhatsApp invading my private thoughts? I was thinking about how WhatsApp hasn't asked me to agree to their new privacy policy. Today I see a prompt asking for the same. Scary world."

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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