WhatsApp could face legal action over Facebook sharing terms

The controversy over their new terms continues...

Facebook-owned WhatsApp recently announced a change in their terms of service. The company published a statement saying they will share user's phone numbers with their parent company Facebook. A German consumer watchdog has now threatened legal action against WhatsApp over the data sharing deal. 

The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) has said that WhatsApp could face legal action over what it described as a betrayal by WhatsApp.

“When Facebook took over WhatsApp in 2014, it pledged that the WhatsApp service would remain independent,” the body said via a statement. “Consumers trusted that their information would remain with WhatsApp alone and that no information would be transferred to Facebook.

“Their trust was broken.”

The statement continues, “We are extremely concerned about this insidious trend: consumers are losing step by step the ownership of their data. Their private sphere is in danger."

WhatsApp has defended the policy change, saying it has to share certain information with Facebook to test new features and services. 

In an official blog post announcing the changes it said: “By coordinating more with Facebook, we'll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp. And by connecting your phone number with Facebook's systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them.”