South African Regulator Battle with WhatsApp over Privacy Policy

The South African Information Regulator is consulting with legal council to get WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook to revise the privacy policy in South Africa to the standard used in the European Union (EU).

This comes after the chat messaging app informed users that they would need to consent to new privacy policy terms, which will take effect on Saturday 15 May, or stop using the service.

The Regulator sait it had written a letter to WhatsApp to revise the privacy terms, unfortunately it has received no agreement from the chat app.

“We are obligated as the Regulator to ensure the protection of personal information of all South African citizens and monitor compliance of the POPIA by responsible parties. We therefore will take this matter further and seek legal opinions and advocate for collaborated efforts,” said Chairperson of the Regulator, Advocate Pansy Tlakula.

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The Regulator has also asked the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services to request Facebook South Africa (SA) and WhatsApp LLC to appear in Parliament on this matter, it added.

According to WhatsApp, failure to agree with the terms and conditions, you won’t be able to access your chat list, but you can still answer incoming phone and video calls.

READ MORE: For Now, No One will have their Accounts Deleted or Lose Functionality – WhatsApp

“For the last several weeks we’ve displayed a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update. After giving everyone time to review, we’re continuing to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent,” adds WhatsApp.

Given Facebook’s status as one of the world’s largest companies, the Regulator is of the view that it should work together with other organisations in order to hold Facebook accountable, it said.

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