(Reuters) France’s data privacy watchdog may fine messaging app WhatsApp if it does not bring its sharing of user data with parent company Facebook into line with French privacy law.
The French data protection authority – CNIL – said on Monday it had told WhatsApp to comply with the order within one month, and pay particular attention to obtaining users’ consent.
If WhatsApp does not comply it could sanction the company, it said.
The CNIL said WhatsApp did not have the legal basis to share user data with Facebook and had violated its obligation to cooperate with the French authority.
WhatsApp, bought by Facebook in 2014, said it would begin sharing some user data with the social media group in 2016, drawing warnings from European privacy watchdogs about getting the appropriate consent.
In October, European Union privacy regulators criticised WhatsApp for not resolving their concerns over the messaging service’s sharing of user data with Facebook a year after they first issued a warning.
The French regulator said WhatsApp had not properly obtained users’ consent to begin sharing their phone numbers with Facebook for “business intelligence” purposes.
“The only way to refuse the data transfer for “business intelligence” purpose is to uninstall the application,” the CNIL said in a statement.