Menu
German court upholds WhatsApp-Facebook data transfer ban

German court upholds WhatsApp-Facebook data transfer ban

But the court overturned the privacy regulator's order that the companies delete data they had already transferred

Facebook must obtain the permission of German users of WhatsApp before processing their personal data, a German court confirmed on Tuesday.

Last August, Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp changed its privacy policy to allow the transfer of its users' personal information to Facebook for processing. That angered the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, which in September ordered the companies to stop the transfer until they had obtained users' consent, and to delete any data they had already transferred.

Facebook challenged the order in Hamburg's administrative court, and on Tuesday the court handed down its ruling.

The court upheld the Commissioner's requirement to obtain consent, but threw out the order to delete the data on procedural grounds.

Facebook plans to appeal the court's ruling. "WhatsApp designed its privacy policy and terms update to comply with applicable law," said a Facebook spokeswoman.

But even that appeal won't settle the matter, as it only concerns an interim order made by the Commissioner to halt Facebook's actions until it can examine them in more detail. Facebook is engaging with the regulator to address its questions, the spokeswoman said.

The case promises to be a tricky one: The court said that it was not clear whether German data protection law applied to WhatsApp -- but that if it did, WhatsApp's consent declarations would prove insufficient to comply.

The Commissioner is seeking to protect the interests of about 35 million WhatsApp users in Germany, it said.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Events

Why experience is the new battleground for partners

Join us for an exclusive webinar, in association with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) and learn about the latest industry insights and how technology services continue to evolve to deliver differentiated value, and how partners can be successful in 2021 and beyond.

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments