If you happen to rely on WhatsApp Messenger to send messages to friends and family, you may be slightly concerned to hear that the company behind the app may have actually broken the law, by storing your contacts’ phone numbers (and other data) on its servers.
According to The Metro, WhatsApp, Inc has allegedly violated ‘internationally accepted privacy principles’ after it kept the data of non-users on its servers in California, rather than deleting this information.
The discovery arrives after Canadian and Dutch watchdogs began investigating into the firm’s practices, following WhatsApp Messenger requesting users should give access to their contacts’ information in order to use the service.
Jacob Kohnstamm, an investigator with the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DDPA), says that he’s ‘not completely satisfied yet’ with the inquiry into how the company is storing this data.
‘Both users and non-users should have control over their personal data and users must be able to freely decide what contact details they wish to share with WhatsApp,’
The UK Information Commissioners’s Office is now said to be looking into WhatsApp’s data privacy policies and practices, but as of yet has not come to a decision as to whether the company actually broke British data protection laws, as a result of storing this data.