The Personal Data Protection Board Ex-Officio Initiated An Investigation against WhatsApp

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The Personal Data Protection Board (“Board”) announced that it has ex-officio initiated an investigation against WhatsApp Inc. through its decision dated 12.01.2021 and numbered 2021/28 (“Decision”).

As is known, the WhatsApp terms of use have been updated, obliging users' consent to process and transfer their personal data to third parties residing abroad. In the public announcement regarding the Decision, the Board drew attention to the fact that the data processing activity may constitute a violation of the Law if the explicit consent obtained in this case is considered as a prerequisite for the service.

Furthermore, the Board emphasized that (i) not obtaining a separate explicit consent for the transfer of personal data abroad and (ii) not definitely determining the third party transferees and the purposes of the transfer could violate the Law.

The Board, deciding upon its preliminary consideration to ex-officio initiate an investigation regarding the matters aforementioned, added that it will make a reassessment regarding the process on 08.02.2021.

You may access the full text of the public announcement here.

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