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Facebook ordered to stop collecting data on German WhatsApp users | Engadget

A German regulator claims Facebook’s attempt to make WhatsApp users agree to data collection practices under isn’t legal. As a result, the regulator has Facebook to stop collecting data from WhatsApp users in the country under a three-month emergency ban.

The head of the Hamburg privacy authority, Johannes Casper, said the updated terms are overly broad, inconsistent and not transparent. He suggested Facebook might already be mishandling data and that it was vital to stop potential misuse from affecting the German election later this year. Caspar has asked European Union regulators to weigh in and issue a ruling that would cover all EU member states. He previously ordered Facebook from WhatsApp users in 2016 and to delete whatever information it had gathered.

Facebook denounced Caspar’s claims. It told  the order is “based on a fundamental misunderstanding” about the aims and impact of the updated terms. Facebook said the ban won’t stop it from rolling out the new rules.

WhatsApp users will need to agree to the terms . Facebook from February 8th amid “confusion” and “misinformation” about the updated policy and to give users more time to review it. Although Facebook said it was committed to end-to-end encryption for messages in WhatsApp, the policy will enable it to share certain data from the service with other parts of its business. That includes phone numbers, transaction data, mobile device info, IP addresses and other details.

Officials in Germany have been at loggerheads with Facebook for years over issues such as privacy and the company’s attempts from across . The latest ban comes amid deeper scrutiny of major social media companies by regulators around the world. In December, the Federal Trade Commission asked Facebook, WhatsApp and seven other social media and streaming video services to and how they handle user data.

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