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WhatsApp issued £193M GDPR fine for breaching privacy regulations.

Byte-size Bulletin by Rachael Brown in Security, News on Sep 3, 2021

WhatsApp has been fined £193M, the second-highest fine ever under EU GDPR rules, for breaching privacy regulations. 
This fine has been issued by the Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC). This may sound surprising until you remember that Facebook, the owners of WhatsApp have their EU headquarters in Ireland.
Meaning that the IDPC is the lead regulatory authority in Europe for the tech giant. 
This fine is the product of an IDPC investigation into WhatsApp that began in 2018, over their transparency when handling private information.
A major issue investigated was if WhatsApp's privacy policies were clear enough, and if they supplied enough information to users on how their data was processed. 
WhatsApp's privacy policies have been updated several times, with a company spokesperson commenting that "WhatsApp is committed to providing a secure and private service". 
The spokesperson went on to say that WhatsApp has "worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive."
WhatsApp has publicly stated it disagrees with the decision and the severe fine, announcing plans to appeal. 
The severity of the fine issued is possible because GDPR rules allow for fines of up to 4% of an offending company's global turnover. 
Only one other company, Amazon, has been fined more for breaking GDPR rules. In July of this year, the company was fined £640M by Luxembourg's regulator for alleged non-compliance with data-processing laws. 


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