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German Consumer Group Files Data Suit against WhatsApp

By on January 30, 2017

Facebook Inc. purchased smartphone-messaging app company WhatsApp Inc. for $19 billion in cash and stock on 2014.  (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Facebook Inc. purchased smartphone-messaging app company WhatsApp Inc. for $19 billion in cash and stock on 2014. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

BERLIN — A German consumer group says it has filed a lawsuit against WhatsApp over its data gathering and sharing practices.

The Federation of German Consumer Organizations said Monday that it filed the suit at Berlin’s state court. It argued that WhatsApp “collects and stores data in part illegally and passes them on to Facebook.”

Facebook acquired the global messaging service in 2014 and announced last summer that WhatsApp would begin sharing phone numbers of its users with the social network. That angered data protection advocates in Germany and elsewhere.

WhatsApp said its “privacy policy and terms updates comply with applicable law.”

It says the use of European WhatsApp user data for products and advertising purposes on Facebook has been “temporarily paused” to allow for discussions with officials.

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