WhatsApp seems to be in big trouble in Germany for now! Apparently the Federation of German Consumer Organizations threatened to file legal action against the popular instant messaging app because they have been passing on contacts lists to Facebook. This is against the Terms and Conditions stipulated by the company itself.
The Federation released a statement on Monday and it said that when Facebook took WhatsApp back in 2014, they said the service would remain independent. Thus, the consumers had trusted the company that no other information would be further sent to Facebook from WhatsApp. Not only that their users have been deceived, but the consumer watchdog gave WhatsApp time until Wednesday for them to release a statement and to declare that they will not change the user terms and conditions.
If the WhatsApp developers will not take any measure in this sense, the Federation threatened to take legal action against the company. According to the new user terms, Facebook can gather phone numbers from the phonebook of any WhatsApp user. Apparently they are doing this for an improved and more accurate friend suggestions feature and business ads.
However, users can choose not to let WhatsApp share any info about them with Facebook. The new changes let people uncheck a box in the terms and conditions that allowed WhatsApp to share info in order to “improve Facebook ads and products experiences”.
The statement issued by the consumer watchdog says that they are concerned with the sneaky trend that seems to appear in the mobile apps and not only: consumers are slowly losing the control they have over their own private data. They say that the very idea of a private sphere seems to be in danger.
On the other hand, WhatsApp and Facebook claim that they are doing this for the benefit of the user.