Some of the information they will be sharing includes user phone numbers, profile names and photos, online statuses and status messages, and last seen statuses.
If users do not accept the terms, they will only be able to receive calls and notifications for a short period of time and will not be able to read or send messages from the app.
“For example, it is the IR’s view that the processing of cellphone numbers as accessed on the user’s contact list for a purpose other than the one for which the number was specifically intended at collection, with the aim of linking the information jointly with the information processed by other responsible parties (such as Facebook companies) does not require consent from the data subject, but prior authorisation from the IR.
“Accordingly, WhatsApp cannot without obtaining prior authorisation from the IR in terms of section 57 of Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia), process any contact information of its users for a purpose other than the one for which the number was specifically intended at collection, with the aim of linking that information jointly with information processed by other Facebook companies,” said IR chairperson Pansy Tlakula.
Tlakula said the IR also raised concerns that citizens of the European Union would receive greater privacy protection than South Africans.
“We are very concerned about these different standards that apply to us; our legislation is very
similar to that of the EU. It was based on that model deliberately, as it provides a significantly better
model for the protection of personal information than that in other jurisdictions.
“We do not understand why Facebook has adopted this differentiation between Europe and Africa.”
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde