WhatsApp has been fined $266 million (29 billion) for failing to disclose how it handles personal data. This is a first under the streamlined European Union data protection laws.
The Irish Data Protection Commission said that the messaging app did not properly inform users on how it handles and processes data, and how it is shared with the parent company, Facebook.
WhatsApp said it would appeal the ruling.
“WhatsApp is committed to providing a secure and private service. We have worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive and will continue to do so,” the spokesperson said.
We disagree with the decision today regarding the transparency we provided to people in 2018 and the penalties are entirely disproportionate. We will appeal this decision.”
WhatsApp received backlash at the beginning of the year after it sent out an alert asking users to accept the new policy changes or delete their accounts. The company recently rescinded on the threats saying that it would henceforth make updates to its policy changes optional for users.