The company is under fire for backtracking on its pledge back then, to never to share users’ data
The US-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (Epic) has claimed the social media firm has violated a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consent order.
Calls for action began after WhatsApp announced it would begin sharing user information such as phone numbers, profile data, status message and online status with Facebook.
Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, firms are forbidden from “unfair or deceptive trade practices”.
Epic said it has filed a complaint against Facebook and WhatsApp with the FTC for lying to users during the 2014 sale when they promised the smaller company would never share “personally identifiable information”.
WhatsApp has defended the move saying it needs to share some data with Facebook, to help test its new features.
The new features include new services where users can receive fraud notifications from banks or flight delay information from airlines.
The company said its “belief in the value of private communications is unshakeable, and we remain committed to giving you the fastest, simplest, and most reliable experience on WhatsApp”.
Users will also have 30 days to opt-out of the new sharing terms of service but critics say this only stops half of their data going to Facebook.