Jan 30, 2017

WhatsApp sued in Europe for sharing phone numbers with Facebook

Tecnomovida Caracas / Flickr Creative Commons

Add this to the list of headaches for Facebook: A German consumer group is suing its messaging subsidiary WhatsApp over the decision to share data —including users' phone numbers — with the social media behemoth.

The big deal: WhatsApp said last summer that it would start sharing users' phone numbers with Facebook. That will allow the social giant to link up WhatsApp accounts with its own massive user base and use that information to better target those Facebook accounts with ads and friend recommendations. It's potentially a boon for the company as it looks to make money off of WhatsApp. But it is also worrisome to privacy groups who say Facebook is violating promises it made when it bought the messaging app.

Why it matters: European regulators take a harder line on privacy issues and they're not happy with WhatsApp's decision to share phone users' phone numbers with Facebook. Europe's competition watchdog is asking questions about the change in policy as it relates to the company's purchase of the messaging platform.

Counterpoint: WhatsApp has long maintained that its policies comply with the law. "They give users a clear and simple explanation of how the service works, as well as choice over how their data is used," a spokesman said in a statement. "The updates also comply with guidelines issued by EU regulators."

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The rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

Pro-Trump warrior takes the helm of U.S. intelligence

Richard Grenell in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By picking Ambassador Richard Grenell to be acting director of national intelligence, President Trump has slotted a pro-Trump warrior into the ultimate apolitical role.

What they're saying: James Clapper, the longest-serving DNI (2010-2017), tells Axios it's "very worrisome installing a partisan with no real intelligence experience in this position."

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as Israel confirms first case

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship — as Israel confirmed its first case among evacuees from the ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 76,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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