The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBZ) has filed a lawsuit against Whatsapp in a Berlin court over its data and sharing practices. The organization wants the instant messaging service to stop passing users’ information to its parent company Facebook.
"Our experts brought the misconduct to light. Now we’ll meet in court," VZBV said. "Be it Facebook, Google, Amazon or now WhatsApp: we target violations."
VZBV has previous with the social media giant. Last April, it took a case against Whatsapp that forced the company to publish its terms and conditions in German. Facebook has until tomorrow (January 31) to properly respond to the latest charges.
The policy changes have also come under fire from other bodies. The European Commission is probing Facebook for possibly supplying “incorrect or misleading information” to antitrust regulators in the run-up to its acquisition of WhatsApp. Privacy campaigners, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy, have accused the company of deceptive trade practices.
Cyber security has become a huge talking point in recent years. Analysts forecast the market to value US$18.5 billion by 2026, due to the growing adoption of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept, rising internet of things market and the growing vulnerability of IT and communication networks to hacking.
In other news, multiple sources are reporting that Whatsapp are working on a new feature that would allow users to track their contacts in real time. Live Location Tracking has been spotted in the beta version of the messaging app, both on Android and iOS. However, it is understood that the feature will be disabled by default when it arrives, presumably to reassure consumers with privacy fears. WhatsApp users will need to manually opt in through the app’s Settings menu.
The company is also rumoured to be working on a tool that would allow users to edit and even recall sent messages.
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(Image Credit - Sam Azgor)