Data Protection Commission keeping close eye on Facebook's WhatsApp activity

After its Hamburg counterpart ordered the social networking giant to cease collecting and storing data from the messaging app...

Data Protection Commission keeping close eye on Facebook's WhatsApp activity

General view of the iPhone 5s | Image: Edward Smith / EMPICS Entertainment

The Irish Data Protection Commission has confirmed it is scrutinising Facebook's privacy practices, after the US tech giant was banned from storing and collecting WhatsApp users' data in Germany and ordered to destroy all previously-obtained information earlier this week.

The commission said that it is "continuing its inquiries into the revised privacy policy implemented by WhatsApp and Facebook in August."

It added:

"The Data Protection Commission is focusing its attention on the type of information shared between WhatsApp and Facebook on foot of the revised policy, particularly in cases where consumers have exercised their right to opt out."

Due to the fact it has its European HQ in Dublin, Facebook is regulated by the Irish watchdog. Mark Zuckerberg's company has reportedly used this fact to question whether the Hamburg commissioner that imposed the data ban has the authority to do so.

Facebook does, however, base its German operations in Hamburg, meaning it would should under the remit of Johannes Caspar, who declared Facebook to have carried out an "infringement of national data protection law" by not seeking users' permission when opting to connect their Facebook and WhatsApp accounts.

WhatsApp announced in August that it would share information from its more than one billion users with parent company Facebook for the first time since its 2014 acquisition.

It also admitted this could result in phone numbers being used for targeted advertisements.