WhatsApp privacy policy tweaked in Europe after record fine

  • Following an investigation by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (IDPC), WhatsApp were issued a €225m (£190m) fine in September.
  • This was the second largest fine issued over GDPR.
  • WhatsApp is appealing the fine but is amending its policy documents in Europe and the UK to add additional detail about existing practices.
  • WhatsApp maintains that nothing about its actual service is changing, including end-to-end message encryption or contractual agreements and users can continue using WhatsApp as normal.
  • The update also doesn’t change how WhatsApp processes, uses, or shares user data with anyone, including Meta.
  • Full story, here.


Facebook Messenger and Instagram delay default end-to-end encryption until 2023

  • Meta – Facebook and Instagram’s parent company is delaying end-to-end encryption (E2EE) until 2023.
  • Messages sent through Messenger and Instagram can be E2EE, the option won’t be enabled by default yet unlike in WhatsApp.
  • Antigone Davis, Meta’s head of safety, attributes the delay to user safety.
  • E2EE means only the sender and recipient see the conversations and Meta wants to ensure that this doesn’t interfere with the platform’s ability to stop criminal activity.
  • Once E2EE is default, the company will use a combination of non-encrypted data across our apps, account information and reports from users to help ensure safety and assist public safety efforts.
  • Full story, here.


Record level of child sexual abuse calls to NSPCC

  • The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) received 4,735 calls about child sexual abuse or exploitation between March and October.
  • This shows an increase of 36% compared with the same period last year.
  • Over 1,500 calls led to a referral to bodies such as the police or local councils for further investigation.
  • Calls include reports from people concerned that a child is being groomed, sexual abuse by family members or peer-on-peer sexual harassment or abuse.
  • The NSPCC fears that the risk of abuse has risen during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Full story, here.


Children in care in England could hit almost 100,000 by 2025

  • A new analysis shows that the number of children in care in England could reach almost 100,000 by 2025.
  • According to research by the county councils, this represents a 36% rise.
  • The unexpected increase is putting pressure on local authority’s budgets.
  • Children are being placed in “expensive residential care settings” and staying for longer periods on average than before.
  • The rise is being explained by factors including a decrease in people willing to be foster carers.
  • An independent review of children’s social care is currently ongoing, conducted by John MacAlister, a former teacher and founder of the Frontline charity.
  • Full story, here.