A Penalty Of $120 Million For Deceiving Information With Tie-up Of Facebook & Whatsapp

tie-up of Facebook & WhatsApp

Whenever information is being shared, it is essential that it is accurate and authentic as well. The moment we realize that the information is not from the right source and it is misleading, it makes it clear that it is a sheer betrayal. People trust the facts which are being shared with them and it is not fair enough for having them betrayed in any manner.

Tie-ups are common factors when we consider businesses and in the recent past, there have been many acquisitions by the big tech companies. The entrepreneurs want to make their business reach the heights and provide better services to their consumers. In the recent past, the behemoth of social media Facebook acquired WhatsApp which is considered to be the world’s largest messaging platform.

It is said that there has a penalty of 120 million dollars charged on Facebook for providing information which is said to be misleading. In 2014 Facebook acquired WhatsApp and it is said that the information which was shared back then was not appropriate enough and in fact misleading.

The fine which is being charged against the giant of the social media Facebook is said to be “proportionate and deterrent” in nature. The watchdog of European Union stated that the social networking site will not be able to match the user accounts with its user base through WhatsApp.

Now, it is 2 years since the company has acquired the messaging platform and what we get to see that, the site has the ability to match the user accounts with its user base. This was something not possible as mentioned in the clause of the company when there was a merger made in the past.

It is evident that no matter what the foreign tech companies have to follow the set rules in the particular countries. In any case, if the companies are found to be violating the clauses which have to be followed by them, then the only outcome would be, being charge with a huge penalty.

The European Union has merger rules and when one company is taking over the other, and then it becomes mandatory for the companies to follow it. This penalty is the biggest as they have made a breach with the law and failed to comply with the rules. Apart from that particular fact, the commission of EU has the ability to decide on the merger made by the companies and have precise information about the tie-up.

The law authorities at EU felt that there is no valid reason for the company to spoil the spirits of the competition with the ever blooming social media field. When Facebook made the acquisition of WhatsApp it was clearly notified to the Commission of EU stating that it will not be able to create automatic connections with the user accounts and they are not reliable.

When this was made clear back in 2014 and that meant that Facebook complied with the regulations which the merging companies have to follow. And there was an update made from WhatsApp with its privacy policy terms that it will be sharing user data with the social networking site.

The update clearly mentioned that it would link the WhatsApp user phone number with their Facebook user identity profiles. When this particular update was released for the users to be aware of it, the European Union made an analysis on the terms of the service during the period of the merger.

Fortunately, they were able to find that, Facebook had the ability to link with WhatsApp right from the beginning and it was nothing new in it. There was a technical possibility for the user accounts to be matched with between Facebook and WhatsApp. This was something which the regulators were not aware of in the first place.

The moment they were able to figure out the loophole, they were prompt enough to respond to it and charged a penalty against the company. Most of the users never knew that something of this kind was actually happening with their social media account and WhatsApp account.

This was actually known to the officials on Facebook that there is an access for the site to match the accounts. We can see that there have been many speculations made against both the firms since the moment there has been an update with the privacy terms until then everything was going smoothly.

In this particular year, we can see that there are different countries who are opposing the breach of user’s privacy. The law authorities stated that this charge of penalty is just the tip of the iceberg and the company might expect for more to come from EU. It is clearly said that the more information they are being able to fetch of the user account the precise will be the profile of the user.

This is something which the Commission is at present analyzing from its end. And on the other end, we have Facebook making a statement saying that they are not exactly sure enough with the way the user data actually works in their system and the decision raises the issue.

They also stated that they have been in good terms right from the beginning with the Commission and there have been no issues. Now, they want to clear the air with providing the commission with the right and appropriate information required for them to get their services back on track without any kind of hindrances.

When the privacy policy was updated, the people were reacting in different ways. They felt that their privacy is at stake and they did not want to feel insecure about their personal information being shared on a social media. It was German which was the first one react and have the messaging app banned, as they felt that the company went back on its word.

Then came in the European Union, they were not willing to have the users information being shared on Facebook. Initially, the company was having a discussion regarding this with the regulators and it was said that the final decision might come in favor of Facebook, as the information which is being shared is not of sensitive nature.

But, now we can see that the company has lost the chances of having the final result in its favor. There has been an appeal made by Facebook in Indian Supreme Court for the site to have the access to the information of the users. The bench has not yet given its verdict and the next hearing for this particular issue is said to be on July 21st.

Until that particular period of time, the bench has requested the law to create a regime to make sure that the information is safe and secure. They do not want the users to fall into this trap as the service provided by them is for free. The officials stated that the clauses were not made on purpose and it was accidental.

Facebook and WhatsApp made this move to bring the businesses close to people. Both the firms planned to provide a better service to the people and we can see here that its service is at stake now. It is mandatory for the companies to for the merger rules and they had to pay for the fault and it is a whopping amount of 120 million dollars, it is clear that the social media behemoth is going through a huge downhill.

Author Bio:
Anand Rajendran is CEO and Co-Founder of  Zoplay, best PHP scripts development company located in India. Zoplay is a part of Casperon Technologies a leading social and mobile development company which is developing , leading innovative and collaborative software development teams to deliver major software applications like SCIMBO – Whatsapp Clone Script. I’m a Tech geek, Digital marketing expert, Entrepreneur, and Atheist who loves to write everything about PHP Scripts and mobile application development.