O WhatsApp suffered a flurry of complaints this Monday from European Consumer Organization and other entities regarding the update of its policy of privacy, which generated criticism around the world and led some users to migrate to applications rivals, like Telegram and Signal.
A European Consumer Organization (BEUC) and eight of its members criticized the changes and filed complaints with the European Commission and on the European network of consumer protection authorities, saying WhatsApp was unfairly pressuring its users to accept its new policies.
“The content of these notifications, their nature, timing and recurrence put undue pressure on users and undermine their freedom of choice. Therefore, they are violations of the directive of the EU on Unfair Business Practices,” the group said in a joint statement.
“WhatsApp failed to explain in simple and intelligible language the nature of the changes. The ambiguity amounts to a violation of EU consumer law that forces companies to use clear and transparent contract terms and commercial communications,” they said.
A Facebook spokesperson stated that “BEUC’s action is based on misunderstanding the purpose and effect of updating our terms of service.”
“The update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook and does not impact the privacy of messages with friends or family, wherever they are in the world. We would like the opportunity to explain the update to BEUC to clarify what it means to people.”
Consumer rights groups called on the European network and EU data protection authorities to work together to address the concerns.
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