WhatsApp faces €225 million fine for breaching EU privacy laws

WhatsApp faces €225 million fine for breaching EU privacy laws

WhatsApp faces €225 million fine for breaching EU privacy laws

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been fined €225 million ($267 million) for breaking the European Union’s data privacy rules. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) announced the decision in an 89-page summary, noting that WhatsApp did not properly inform EU citizens how it handles their personal data, including how it shares that information with its parent company.

The regulator said WhatsApp failed to tell Europeans how their personal information is collected and used, as well as how WhatsApp shares data with Facebook.

It has ordered the platform, which is used by 2 billion people worldwide, to tweak its privacy policies and how it communicates with users so that it complies with Europe’s privacy law. As a result, WhatsApp may have to expand its privacy policy, which some users and companies have already criticised for being too long and complex.

Because WhatsApp’s European headquarters are based in Dublin, it was up to Irish regulators to investigate complaints against WhatsApp. Tech giants like Ireland because of its low corporate taxes and lax regulatory regime. Critics accuse Ireland of acting like a tax haven within the EU and not doing enough to go after abusive behavior by tech companies.