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Privacy policy

WhatsApp agrees to be more transparent on policy changes, EU says

WhatsApp agrees to be more transparent on policy changes, EU says
Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram icons are seen on a mobile device in Belgrade, Serbia, 04 October 2021. EPA-EFE/ANDREJ CUKIC

BRUSSELS, March 6 (Reuters) - Meta Platforms' META.O WhatsApp has agreed to be more transparent about changes to its privacy policy introduced in 2021, the European Commission said on Monday, following complaints from consumer bodies across Europe.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) and the European Network of consumer authorities told WhatsApp last year that it had not clarified the changes in plain and intelligible language, violating the bloc’s laws.

EU members’ national regulators can sanction companies for breaches.

WhatsApp has now agreed to explain changes to EU users’ contracts and how these could affect their rights, and has agreed to display prominently the possibility for users to accept or reject the changes and ensure that users can easily close pop-up notifications on updates.

The company also confirmed that users’ personal data is not shared with third parties or other Meta companies, including Facebook, for advertising purposes.

“Consumers have a right to understand what they agree to and what that choice entails concretely, so that they can decide whether they want to continue using the platform,” Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said.

By Foo Yun Chee and Charlotte Van Campenhout

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels and Charlotte Van Campenhout in Amsterdam; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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