Facebook fined $122M in Europe over dubious WhatsApp filing

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Facebook’s 2014 partnership of messaging app WhatsApp cost $19 billion when it was announced. Now the cost tab has been bumped adult a small some-more after European regulators slapped a association with a €110M (~$122M) excellent for providing “incorrect or misleading” information during a time of a deal.

The European Commission pronounced currently that Facebook told it during that time that it could not automatically compare user accounts between its possess height and WhatsApp — nonetheless a association subsequently revealed it would be doing only that.

The argumentative change to WhatsApp’s remoteness routine to share user data, including phone numbers, with Facebook took place in Aug final year — and led to widespread defamation of a remoteness U-turn.

In a matter today, a European Commission said: “The Commission has found that, discordant to Facebook’s statements in a 2014 partnership examination process, a technical probability of automatically relating Facebook and WhatsApp users’ identities already existed in 2014, and that Facebook staff were wakeful of such a possibility.”

This follows a Statement of Objections to Facebook detailing a commission’s concerns final December.

Facebook responded to a excellent with a own statement — claiming it had done “errors” in 2014 when it done the filing to regulators.

“We’ve acted in good faith given a really initial interactions with a Commission and we’ve sought to yield accurate information during each turn. The errors we done in a 2014 filings were not conscious and a Commission has reliable that they did not impact a outcome of a partnership review. Today’s proclamation brings this matter to a close,” it said.

The EC is not reversing a preference to transparent a WhatsApp acquisition. However, it’s transparent a region’s regulators are waking up to a accumulative energy of large information holdings. And European information insurance agencies’ fast-flowing objections to the WhatsApp-Facebook information pity quickly led to Facebook suspending these information flows in a region.

In a matter on today’s fine, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “Today’s preference sends a transparent vigilance to companies that they contingency approve with all aspects of EU partnership rules, including a requirement to yield scold information. And it imposes a proportional and halt excellent on Facebook,” she added.

The EC serve records that today’s preference is “unrelated to possibly ongoing inhabitant antitrust procedures or privacy, information insurance or consumer insurance issues, that might arise following a Aug 2016 refurbish of WhatsApp terms of use and remoteness policy.”

So while Facebook is claiming a specific matter is closed, it stays to be seen either a association will face serve regulatory problems associated to a tenure and operation of WhatsApp. In a meantime, a association has reliable to us that information pity between WhatsApp and Facebook stays dangling in Europe.