The automotive part supplier of Germany, Continental has banned the use of popular mobile messenger apps, WhatsApp and Snapchat from its work-related mobile devices with immediate effect. According to the auto parts maker, these apps expose the data of the company saved in the respective tablet or mobile phone thereby exposing the firm to new data protection laws.
Continental Says Apps Have Deficiencies
Continental says that social media apps like Whatsapp and Snapchat have deficiencies due to which compliance with the tough new EU data protection legislation becomes extremely difficult. These social media apps insist access to the user’s contact list, which makes the company’s data vulnerable to EU’s regulations. Introduced on May 25, the GDPR data privacy law of Europe is aimed at combating the way IT giants like Google and Facebook collect and handle the personal information of the users.
The German company says that now this law has also been shifted towards app users. As per the GDPR rule, a user on the messenger platforms should contact everyone on his contact list. But it poses a lot of risks when it comes to protecting data which the company is not ready to take. According to the CEO of Continental, Elmar Degenhart, “We think it is unacceptable to transfer to users the responsibility of complying with data protection laws.” He further added that the condition to access all the contacts is an obligation and tech firms must make it easier for the users to follow the new rules of EU.
Continental May Reverse Decision On Conditions
The Hanover-based car parts manufacturer is not averse to the idea of reversing the decision. But it has put a condition. According to Continental, the service providers like WhatsApp and Snapchat should make some changes in their basic settings so that their apps follow the data-protection regulations by default. The company has not banned using other messaging apps like Skype or Facebook Messenger because even though they request access to the contact list on the device, these apps do not make it compulsory. But with WhatsApp and Snapchat it is a part of their default user experience.
Snap Inc. has said that the German company’s statement about the GDPR shifting the compliance burden on the user is totally wrong. According to Snapchat, their app gives complete freedom to the user whether to give access to contacts or not and it is also possible to delete any uploaded data any time.