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Facebook temporarily stops data sharing with WhatsApp in the U.K.

The company has paused its data-sharing program in the U.K. between its Facebook and WhatsApp apps after an Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) probe into the company’s privacy policy, the ICO wrote on its blog. The data sharing between the services began this summer, and includes the phone number with which a WhatsApp user verifies their account. As a result of the ICO probe, Facebook will temporarily pause its data sharing for advertising and product improvement purposes. ICO information commissioner Elizabeth Denham said:

“I had concerns that consumers weren’t being properly protected, and it’s fair to say the inquiries my team have made haven’t changed that view. I don’t think users have been given enough information about what Facebook plans to do with their information, and I don’t think WhatsApp has got valid consent from users to share the information. I also believe users should be given ongoing control over how their information is used, not just a 30-day window.”

MG