Turkey's competition board orders Whatsapp to terminate controversial privacy update

Turkey's competition authority has ruled for WhatsApp to halt an update that calls for users to share more data with its parent company, Facebook, ahead of the May 15 deadline for the new terms for the messaging app.

Whatsapp must notify all users, regardless of whether they accept the new terms, that it has stopped the terms for Facebook’s data-sharing, Birgün newspaper cited the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) as saying.

The Turkish authority last month launched an investigation into WhatsApp over a new controversial update that has come under criticism for asking its users to agree to the new terms or lose access to their accounts.

The backlash over the update, which is set to allow Facebook to monetize WhatsApp by allowing advertisers to contact customers directly via the app, prompted the company to push back the deadline for user agreement for the terms from Feb. 8 to May 15.

The authority has unanimously voted to allow for legal proceedings regarding violation of the ruling within 60 days of the written notice, the BDDK said.

Following the announcement of the new terms of the popular messaging app, Turkish government officials called on citizens to use other locally-developed messaging applications in place of WhatsApp,including BiP, a messaging app by Turkcell, the country’s leading mobile phone operator.