Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging app — which won applause last year when it turned on end-to-end encryption by default — is being sued in German court over privacy concerns related to the way it collects and shares data with Facebook.
Privacy advocates in the European Union weren’t amused.
In September, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information ordered Facebook to stop collecting and storing WhatsApp data from Germany’s 35 million users. In December, the European Commission sent a statement of objections to Facebook alleging the world’s largest social network gave “incorrect or misleading information” about the possibility of linking users’ accounts during a 2014 review of its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp.
Now the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, or VZBV) is asking the Berlin county court for an injunction to stop the data sharing, and to force Facebook to delete any data WhatsApp has given it. The VZBV accused the companies of abusing users’ trust.