Facebook holds off on collecting Irish WhatsApp user data

The Data Protection Commission is reviewing changes made to the messaging app's terms and conditions...

Facebook holds off on collecting Irish WhatsApp user data

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

Facebook is stalling on collecting Irish WhatsApp user's data, including phone numbers, as the social media giant moves to ally concerns over the use of users' data.

Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has confirmed to Newstalk that it has been told by the US firm that it is "not proceeding to process European user data from WhatsApp" at present.

The DPC added that it is "actively seeking information from Facebook Ireland Ltd in relation to the recent revisions to WhatsApp's privacy policy, which provided for data sharing with Facebook Ireland Ltd."

This comes after news broke yesterday that Facebook agreed to hold off collecting data from people who use WhatsApp in the UK amid concerns from the UK's Information Commissioner.

Changes to the messaging service's policy were announced in August, which allowed for customer information to be shared with Facebook unless the customer opted out. Facebook said that this information would be used to aid its targeted advertising services.

According to the DPC, "Facebook will now seek to address, where possible, the concerns being raised by European data protection authorities."

It adds that, "The Irish DPC is gathering the facts relevant to the data privacy issues arising, and proceeding to analyse those facts against the European legal framework.

"In addition, it is looking at the quality of the notice and information delivered to users of the WhatsApp service prior to their making a choice to either continue using WhatsApp or to cancel their account."