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WhatsApp Ordered To Stop Sharing User Data With Facebook (theverge.com) 119

France's privacy watchdog CNIL has ordered WhatsApp to stop sharing user data with its parent company Facebook. According to a public notice posted on the French website, WhatsApp has a month to comply with the order. The Verge reports: The query began after WhatsApp added to its terms of service last year that it shares data with Facebook to develop targeted advertising, security measures, and to gather business intelligence. Upon investigating these claims, the CNIL ruled that while WhatsApp's intention of improving security measures was valid, the app's business intelligence reason wasn't as acceptable. After all, WhatsApp never told its users it was collecting data for business intelligence and there's no way to opt out without uninstalling the app. That violates "the fundamental freedoms of users," said the CNIL.
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WhatsApp Ordered To Stop Sharing User Data With Facebook

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    What is a WhatsApp? (No, I won't google it. The summary ought to tell me what a WhatsApp is.)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The parent comment should be upmodded. It's a valid and relevant question. The shitty articles linked to from the summary don't say what it is, either.

    • what is a facebook? what is a French website? what is targeted advertising etc etc. really if you are so tech illiterate as to not know what some of the basics are then get the fuck off this forum, we don't need summaries that are 3 pages long so that every word can be explained to you because you are too ignorant or lazy.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        What is this, a day of butthurt dumbshit millennials?
        Kill yourself, whatsup your stupid n1gger cocksucking dumbass bitch.

        • millennial?, I wish. I was already in the industry by the time most millennials were born. obviously by your language most millennials are significantly older than you and definitely more mature though. Once you get out into the real world instead of being spoon fed by your mother perhaps you will pick up some basic knowledge.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you believe a single word that Facebook or their vassal companies says about privacy or data sharing, then you deserve to be tracked by them. They're not stopping shit: they're going to store and exploit everything they possibly can. The regulators won't be able to tell what's going on anyway, and as a final option there's always paying lobbyists or using blackmail (government employees give plenty of information to FB too).

  • The WhatsApp app is terrible -- it demands that you give it access to all of your phone contacts before you're allowed to start sending messages with it. You can't block contact access and just tell it to message a specific number.

    Bad design, but fits right in with FB's data mining plans.

    • Another terrible thing is that when you change phones you lose your chat history. Technically there's a backup option to Google drive and SD card but when both fails you search and find it fails for loads of people and no one knows why or how to fix it.

      https://forums.oneplus.net/thr... [oneplus.net]

      So Facebook have my chat history but WhatsApp won't let me see it on a new phone. Gee thanks, you utter fuckknuckles.

      Back before Facebook owned the company of course it was actually a pretty decent application that effectively

      • So Facebook have my chat history but WhatsApp won't let me see it on a new phone. Gee thanks, you utter fuckknuckles.

        That's not a bug, it's a feature.

        No, I'm actually serious. You utter fucknuckle. The reason they can't show you your chat history is because they don't have it. When you use WhatsApp, unlike some other chat apps, your messages are generally either sent fully encrypted straight to the recipient, or, if the recipient cannot be reached directly, are sent via a WhatsApp server acting as an intermediary. If the latter, the server only stores the message long enough to confirm that your intended recipient had

        • The reason they can't show you your chat history is because they don't have it.

          It's on the phone. There's a backup feature to Google drive or SD card, the problem is that sometimes (always?) a new phone will fail to restore the backups

          https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/an... [whatsapp.com]

          • It's on the phone. There's a backup feature to Google drive or SD card, the problem is that sometimes (always?) a new phone will fail to restore the backups

            Well, that's a different thing entirely. You said "Facebook have my chat history" and I was pointing out that they do not.

            I was not aware of the backup problems with the app, but that's because I never use it; my devices are all rooted and I just do nightly backups of all my app data with TitaniumBackup. If the backup feature in the app is that unreliable I can certainly understand your frustration.

      • Another terrible thing is that when you change phones you lose your chat history.

        I'd call that a feature!

        What's so important about past chats anyway? Chat away about whatever, move on. Another day, another round. Photos etc can be saved as desired.

        • If you moved to a new computer and lost all your old emails/files would you consider that a feature?

          Maybe *you* would, but some of us actually like having the option of keeping our data until we decide to delete it.

      • Happy medium: allow export of the chat history to a new phone via WiFi, bypassing the "clown." No need to save data on WhatsApp's servers.
      • by Malc ( 1751 )

        You should get an iPhone: the iOS version backs up to iCloud. Like they say: it just works :)

        My biggest problem with it is that it 1) strips all exif info from photos, and 2) over compresses/down-rezes everything. #1 is inline with it's privacy ethos, but both are annoying when you have friends who use it as the only way to share photos.

  • Bullshit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rick Zeman ( 15628 )

    "After all, WhatsApp never told its users it was collecting data for business intelligence and there's no way to opt out without uninstalling the app. That violates "the fundamental freedoms of users," said the CNIL."

    No, that's the "trying to have your cake and it it, too" freedom. If it's free, you're the product. No way around that, short of opting out. If enough people do it, well, then the business model might change.

    • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Monday December 18, 2017 @11:25PM (#55766499)

      Businesses operate within the rules of society, their society has different rules than yours.

      Just because you don't approve doesn't mean they can't do it.

    • If it's free, you're the product

      WhatsApp was free for the first year to build network effects and then $1/year (which was more than enough for cover operating costs). Users signed up to this and moved a lot of their communication to the platform. Facebook then moved to make it 'free' on the assumption that they could violate the terms that they agreed to with the EU antitrust regulator which prohibited using it for data mining. As I understand it, users are no longer offered the option of paying for the service.

  • I installed Whatsapp because it is very popular in Europe. For those who do not know, it is telephone number based chatting with ability to attach photos and voice memos to a chat, and now you can call for free through Whatsapp. It is useful for meeting up with a team at the hotel for example when you are all arriving at different times. I found groups stay active even long after a project ends though. I did not realize this info is going to Facebook though and I really don't like the idea that what is a cr

    • The only data they have is which numbers you are interacting with and when.

      • The only data they have is which numbers you are interacting with and when.

        Not sure this is correct. End to end encryption is for individual chat windows. Group chatting can be read by the mothership.

        • Not sure this is correct. End to end encryption is for individual chat windows. Group chatting can be read by the mothership.

          As explained in their white paper [whatsapp.com] (warning, PDF), group chats support full end-to-end encryption. Your client encrypts multiple copies of the message using the keys of each person in the conversation, and then sends them out as individual messages.

    • As you note, it essentially provides the features your phone should provide by default, but the operators are too slow to adapt, and so haven't got around to it yet.

      However, to use Whatsapp, you have to let it have access to all your contacts. Therefore, Whatsapp (and Facebook) know the phone numbers of all the people you have in your phone. Since Facebook also asks for your phone number, they can tie your contacts to real humans pretty easily. Even without that, they can still infer much the same informati

      • I find Line the most sane of the bunch, at least regarding the TOS. Unfortunately, I only have one contact in this Japanese focused IM tool. I tell the other people to send me e-mails.

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