A number of US tech companies have established European HQs in Ireland, due to the Emerald Isle’s favourable tax regime. However, Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon is not allowing them carte blanche.
WhatsApp has incurred the DPC’s wrath for failing to deliver on its pledge to discontinue user data sharing with its parent company Facebook. The messaging service began passing user data to the social media giant over a year ago, bringing it into conflict with EU regulators. It has since agreed to suspend this practice but, as yet, has not followed through on its promise. Once the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in May, user confidentiality will become more heavily regulated.
WhatsApp is not the only tech major to find itself under the DPC’s spotlight. Yahoo is also under investigation for failing to disclose its huge 2014 data breach until two years later. Oath, its new parent company, will be receiving a full report from the DPC, and this will also be made public.