WhatsApp violates privacy norms

Last updated 10:58 30/01/2013

Relevant offers

Digital Living

Robot pilots may someday fly passenger planes Want a sure-fire well-paid job? Train to fight computer hackers Marlborough Sounds cruising guide app will be accessible anywhere 'Iron Man' wants to voice Mark Zuckerberg's virtual assistant Missing man's Facebook account suddenly comes alive, worrying family New Zealand women not immune from 'revenge porn' culture Apple Pay arrives in New Zealand Don't be sure big tech breakthroughs are behind us How to be the family IT hero Digital storytelling offers insight to Marlborough readers

Regulators in the Netherlands and Canada say the popular messaging application WhatsApp is violating internationally accepted privacy norms by stockpiling phone numbers belonging to people who don't even use the service.

Officials in both countries say WhatsApp is going through its users' address books and copying every single phone number before transmitting them to the Mountain View, California-based company's servers.

Many communications services ask for access to their customer's address books to help connect them with friends. But under Canadian and Dutch law, personal information belonging to nonusers must be destroyed once it's no longer being used.

Canada's Office of the Privacy Commissioner and the Dutch Data Protection Authority also criticised WhatsApp for weak security and sloppy encryption.

Emails and Twitter messages sent to WhatsApp weren't immediately returned.

Ad Feedback

- AP


Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content