A top European Union privacy regulator is moving closer to making draft decisions involving Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp and
under the bloc’s new privacy law.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission said on Monday that its investigative unit has, in recent days, completed its investigations in two of the first cases involving big tech companies. The results are now on the desk of
the body’s commissioner for her draft decision, which could come by the end of the year.
The WhatsApp case looks at whether the Facebook-owned chat app gives sufficient information to users and nonusers about how it shares data, in particular with other Facebook units. The Twitter case examines whether the company complied with notification obligations for a personal data breach the company disclosed to the regulator in January.
If the companies are found in violation, they could be liable for hefty fines under the EU’s new privacy law, known as the GDPR.
Representatives for WhatsApp and Twitter declined to comment. Representatives of Facebook also declined to comment.
The Irish regulator said it also hopes to complete the investigations and turn over to Ms. Dixon two or three other cases involving Facebook by the end of the year. That is somewhat later than had been expected, a delay spokesman Graham Doyle explained in part by saying the regulator has been taking time to make sure its decisions can withstand potential legal challenges.
“We have moved the first two inquiries into big tech companies to the decision phase,” Mr. Doyle said. “These are the first two of what we hope will be a number of big tech inquiries completed by the end of the year.”
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