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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."

Go deeper

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
11 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.