WhatsApp’s verdict – In a ruling, Bad Hersfeld’s court ruled that the automatic sharing of contacts in the address book to Messenger WhatsApp was illegal. Anyone transferring this data to the company without the permission of the affected parties is responsible for the infringement.
WhatsApp judgment for consumers
If you use WhatsApp, you agree that all data in the phonebook will be sent to the messenger. This is necessary for the service to ensure that all WhatsApp users can contact each other and customers can see which of their contacts is using the messenger.
The Bad Hersfeld District Court has now criticized this automatic reconciliation of the data and declares that WhatsApp users must obtain the permission of all contacts before this information is passed on. In the present case, the court had imposed on a mother under the file F 120/17 EASO to control more closely the smartphone use of her 11-year-old son. Among other things, the Messenger WhatsApp was also discussed.
WhatsApp Data transfer not without permission
The judgment states:
Anyone using the messenger service “WhatsApp”, according to the technical specifications of the service, continuously transmits data in the form of “Klardaten” from all the contact persons registered in their own smartphone address book to the company behind the service
Anyone who permits this persistent data transfer through his use of “WhatsApp” without having previously obtained permission from his contact persons from his own telephone address book, commits against these persons a delictic act and goes into the danger of the affected persons To be paid for.
This means that the automatic mechanism of the messenger, which ensures that users can write to each other, is actually de-leveled – at least if the consent of all contacts in the telephone book has not been collected beforehand. If these permits are not available, the affected contacts can defend themselves with a warning.
Is there a WhatsApp warning?
“By automatically passing on the data without the consent of the contacts, WhatsApp users violate all applicable laws and can be dismissed as a result,” explains Christian Solmecke, a media attorney in a blog entry. And further: “In practice, private warnings would in most cases be absurd. On the one hand, few would like to warn their friends and acquaintances. Furthermore, as WhatsApp users themselves one would be in the danger to be warned again by the other user. ”
But even if contacts decide to go the way of the warning, this would be “not purposeful and ineffective”. The attorney says, “Because you should go against every single person who has ever been given his number without knowing if she is using WhatsApp.”
Christian Solmecke does not see the danger of a warning wave, however, the judgment should be another warning shot for WhatsApp that the current handling of user data should be revised.