The data protection commissioner for the German state of Thuringia said that 99 percent of WhatsApp users in Germany were guilty of "criminal" behaviour, reported Heise Online. Thuringia’s data protection commissioner, Lutz Hasse, said during a presentation of his office’s activity report for the years 2016 and 2017 that WhatsApp users violate German data protection laws by allowing the messaging service to access all of the contact information stored in their smartphones.
Users are only allowed to grant WhatsApp access to this information if all of the contacts stored in their phone agreed to have their information shared, he said. But because this form of consent is "practically nonexistent" in real life, the use of WhatsApp is unlawful for private individuals, said Hasse. The commissioner referred to a 2017 lower court ruling that affirmed his viewpoint and warned consumers in German against using the service, said Heise. ► telecompaper, 1 March 2018