The Authority recently completed its examination on the Terms of Service of WhatsApp and imposed 1,950,000 TRY [one million nine hundred and fifty thousand Turkish Liras] fine on the company for failing to sufficiently protect user data, with its decision dated 03.09.2021 and numbered 2021/891. This is the highest penalty ruled by the Authority so far.
In its decision, the Authority also discussed the following and decided that the company is processing users’ personal data in violation of the Law No. 6698:
- The WhatsApp Terms of Service do not provide users with an optional right for the processing and transferring their personal data abroad. Accordingly, the “free will” element of the explicit consent has been infringed since explicit consents were not obtained
- The terms regarding the data transfer have been set non-negotiable. Thus, users are forced to provide consent to the contract as a whole.
- Since WhatsApp servers are not located in Turkey, the consent for all kinds of personal data transactions must be obtained explicitly from the users in the
By Zahide Altunbas Sancak, Partner, and Sevinc Jafarova, Associate, Guleryuz & Partners