Under pressure from the EU Commission and national consumer protection authorities, the messenger service Whatsapp has promised more transparency when changing its terms of use. At the same time, it should be easier for users to reject updated terms of use, as the EU Commission announced. If the refusal means that Whatsapp can no longer be used, this should be clearly explained. The European consumer association Beuc described the commitments as insufficient.

In July 2021, Beuc, together with national consumer associations, accused Whatsapp of unfairly urging users to adopt new data protection rules. At the beginning of 2022, the EU Commission, together with the Consumer Protection Network (CPC), demanded clarification of the data protection rules. Now the investigation against WhatsApp has been closed.

Beuc general director Ursula Pachl was disappointed. “More transparency and easy ways to opt out of policy changes going forward are just not enough,” she said. This is no help for the millions of users who were forced to accept the changed terms of use “due to Whatsapp 2021’s aggressive behavior”. At the same time, it is a worrying signal that a tech giant like Whatsapp can violate consumer rights and get away with promising to do better in the future.