WhatsApp violates privacy laws

WhatsApp violates Canadian and Dutch privacy laws

OTTAWA | January 29, 2013

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WhatsApp, which allows text messaging over the Internet without incurring SMS messaging charges, violates Canadian and Dutch privacy laws, officials say.

“The address book contains phone numbers of both [WhatsApp] users and non-users,” Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority, said in a statement.

WhatsApp Inc., based in California, has changed the iPhone version of the app to allow users to add contacts manually instead of uploading their address book.

Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner began investigating WhatsApp in January 2012, saying it had “reasonable grounds” to believe the company was “collecting, using, disclosing and retaining personal information” in a manner that contravened Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

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