The Brazilian Institute for Consumer Protection (Idec) analyzes administrative and judicial measures against the data sharing imposed by WhatsApp to Facebook sponsors. Displeased by the lack of options provided to users, the institution will meet to discuss the topic this week to decide the best measures.
As of February 8, 2021, WhatsApp users who do not accept the new terms that allow data sharing with Facebook and its sponsors will have their account suspended until they agree to the contract. The terrible news reached the messenger users gradually in the form of a pop-up window – which interrupts the navigation in the application, imposing the reading of the new terms and notifying the deadline.
Although the shared data does not include the messages themselves, the entire contact list of the cell phone, as well as a profile photo and other information must be sent to Facebook. This drew the attention of the user base, mainly due to the lack of options provided by WhatsApp. This same reason drew the attention of Idec, which considers it problematic not to give options that restrict data sharing in Brazil – where the app has become a working tool for thousands of users.
In the European Union and the United Kingdom, the company will not be able to impose the measure, as it has been prevented by local authorities. Here, WhatsApp follows its campaign for the new terms, justifying the implementation of new measures to “promote transparency”. “From now on, companies can opt for Facebook’s secure hosting services to help manage communications with their customers on WhatsApp.”
Considering that the theme will be unraveled by Idec throughout this week, a measure must be taken until next week and may change or relax the decision of WhatsApp in Brazil. In parallel, part of the messenger user base searches for alternatives that do not require data sharing with large companies, such as Signal and Telegram.