back to article France gives WhatsApp a month to get slurps in order or face fine

The French information watchdog has told WhatsApp it has a month to comply with data protection laws, or risk being fined. European data protection agencies have become increasingly frustrated with the slurp-happy attitude of the messaging app and parent company Facebook since its privacy policy changed last summer. The …

  1. Graham 25

    So what if they don't ?

    Out of interest, what could France do if a US company, which is hosted in the US and used by millions of French citizens decides to give the French government the finger ?

    Its not going to bock WhatsApp as its citizens would throw a wobbly, so what could France actually do except go to court and a US corporation could ignore them as the company is not based or hosted in France ?

    Always wondered ....

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: So what if they don't ?

      "It's not going to block WhatsApp as its citizens would throw a wobbly".

      Why not, everyone would just fire up Telegram or an alternative and it would be business as usual, except for Zuckerbeg..

      I, for one, am all for this, with a little bit of luck it might start the ball rolling and start to put an end to all the hidden and unwanted Dataslurping. Hopefully Google and Microsoft will be next.

      If I have to pays a couple of bucks thereafter for Whatsapp that's ok with me.

      Vive la CNIL...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So what if they don't ?

        Don't block Whatsapp....block advertising content from Facebook at a national level.

        I reckon it would take about...Oooo 30 seconds for Facebook to change their mind....and if they decide to appeal against this action, let them enjoy the speed of the court system.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: So what if they don't ?

      As already alluded to by my fellow commentards, the action the French can take is against any company doing business in France. Fine them (i.e. Facebook as well) if they don't pay then no business in France or with French advertising agencies. And money speaks loud and clear in the USA...

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: So what if they don't ?

      "Out of interest, what could France do if a US company, which is hosted in the US and used by millions of French citizens decides to give the French government the finger ?"

      Well seize their EU assets (for instance several valuable datacentres for a start) and / or advertising revenue. And ultimately stop them trading in the EU, which after all is a much larger market than the US both in terms of GDP and in terms of population...

      1. Pseu Donyme

        Re: So what if they don't ?

        > Well seize their EU assets ...

        I seem to recall that because of Facebook's tax shenanigans their global, non-US revenues go via Ireland (in the EU). I suppose this helps collecting fines and seizing considerable assets. Ultimately I suppose Facebook's Irish subsidiaries through which the global revenue goes could be seized with the effect that said revenue gets permanently seized (the contractual arrangements between Facebook and the subsidiaries created for tax avoidance would surely stay in effect after the seizure?).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So what if they don't ?

      Since the US regularly fines companies headquartered in other countries, I wonder how it comes at a surprise that those other countries can do the same to US-based companies. Is there an unconscious assumption here that somehow, everything US is untouchable, because...?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So what if they don't ?

      @Graham 25

      Don't know why you got all the down votes. Funnily enough, people are up in arms when the Chinese do exactly the same thing to western companies.

      But I guess when the boots on the other foot, France is right and everyone else is wrong...

  2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Trollface

    1789

    The French have always had a solution to this sort of problem...

  3. Teiwaz Silver badge

    British Government follows suit...

    ...down to the desk and hands in another request for personal info...

    licks lips, daaaataaaa fetish friends (in the kahzee, trousers down)....

    Disclosure ...I've had a few sherrries vicar.....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fines should be extended to...

    Fining advertisers that use Facebook's Ad network. That might concentrate some business minds and dent the 10 billion every quarter magic number...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fines should be extended to...

      Isn't that like punishing relatives of criminals?

      That's so 18th century France. And England. And US.

      You'll be justifying Sharia law next.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'You'll be justifying Sharia law next.'

        You miss the point (which was a bit tongue and cheek). I wanted to raise the idea of looking at other ways to bring Facebook into line. Clearly, if Advertisers ever shun the platform its game over.. We know the Russian and Cambridge-Analytics behavioral Ads shouldn't have happened... So maybe there's a way to punish rogue operators. If only by having cleverer algos to block them and more regulation / oversight over social media pre-election.

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