Consumer groups file complaint against WhatsApp for unfairly pressuring users to accept its new policies
The complaint is first due to the persistent, recurrent and intrusive notifications pushing users to accept WhatsApp’s policy updates. The content of these notifications, their nature, timing and recurrence put an undue pressure on users and impair their freedom of choice. As such, they are a breach of the EU Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices.
In addition, the complaint highlights the opacity of the new terms and the fact that WhatsApp has failed to explain in plain and intelligible language the nature of the changes. It is basically impossible for consumers to get a clear understanding of what consequences WhatsApp’s changes entail for their privacy, particularly in relation to the transfer of their personal data to Facebook and other third parties. This ambiguity amounts to a breach of EU consumer law which obliges companies to use clear and transparent contract terms and commercial communications.
Press release by BEUC