European Commission objects to Facebook for ‘misleading’ information over WhatsApp

The European Commission (EC) sent a statement of objections to Facebook, for making “misleading” information in its takeover of WhatsApp, the messaging service, after its data-sharing change in August. The charges could lead to Facebook being fined up to 1% of its global turnover in 2014 when the merger was approved by the EC. The Commission said that Facebook informed regulators that it would not be able to perform automated matching between user-held Facebook accounts and WhatsApp accounts. Facebook’s privacy policy change for WhatsApp in August, for which the EC was notified in January, specifically enabled automated matching and data sharing after technical changes, allowed the matching of the majority of accounts not using a phone number with Facebook. Facebook has until 31 January 2017 to respond to the charges.