In a press release shared on Tuesday, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information argued that Facebook had no legal basis for processing WhatsApp user data, noting that “the contents [of the new policy] are misleading and show considerable contradictions” and that “consent is not freely given, since WhatsApp demands acceptance of the new provisions as a condition for the continued
use of the service’s functionalities.”
Johannes Caspar, Hamburg’s Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information said in comments:
Naturally, Facebook disputes this characterization of events. In a statement shared to TechCrunch, the company said:
Our recent update explains the options people have to message a business on WhatsApp and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. As the Hamburg DPA’s claims are wrong, the order will not impact the continued roll-out of the update. We remain fully committed to delivering secure and private communications for everyone.