WhatsApp is the subject of a joint report by Dutch and Canadian authorities which asserts that the app is violating privacy laws in both countries. The problem is that the app requires access to both users and non-users in a user's address book, which is apparently against the law in Canada and Netherlands.
"This lack of choice contravenes (Canadian and Dutch) privacy law. Both users and non-users should have control over their personal data and users must be able to freely decide what contact details they wish to share with WhatsApp," said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority.
According to the report, WhatsApp stores mobile numbers of non-users from a user's contact list, which violates Dutch privacy laws. The Dutch Data Protection Authority has said that financial penalties could be imposed if WhatsApp continues this practice. WhatsApp has committed to making changes to protect users' privacy.