Turkey fines WhatsApp for violating personal data protection regulations

Turkey has fined WhatsApp for violating personal data protection regulations, a day after the Irish digital authority imposed a record penalty on the messaging app for a similar reason.

The Turkish Personal Data Protection Authority fined WhatsApp 19,500,000 Turkish liras (197,366 euros) for failing to take “the necessary measures to avoid processing personal data in violation of the law,” the foundation announced in a statement on Friday.

WhatsApp, a subsidiary of social media giant Facebook, came under fire in January after asking nearly two billion users to agree to new terms of service that allow it to share more data with Facebook.

The Turkish authority said that it had punished “WhatsApp” because the application was depriving users of “the freedom of will.”

“Users are obligated to give their consent to the entire contract,” she added.

The decision came a day after Ireland, which includes the European headquarters of Facebook, imposed a record fine of 225 million euros on WhatsApp for similar violations.

Russia also fined WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter in August for not storing Russian users’ data on local servers.

Turkish authorities in January urged their citizens to prioritize the use of a local messaging app, BIP, developed by mobile operator Turkcell.

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