The App – “WhatsApp Business”
Unfortunately, it is not really possible to use the app in Germany in conformity with data protection laws. The problem: WhatsApp accesses the phone’s contact book and uploads all numbers to its servers to find out if the contact is using the app. This is actually not allowed in Germany, under data protection law, if the owners of the numbers have not agreed in advance. If certain precautions are taken, it is possible to avoid this unwanted upload, but these actions are always associated with additional work and, in case of doubt, may not be legally secure.
Moreover, synchronizing contacts is not the only data protection problem. Whatsapp does provide business customers with an agreement on commissioned data processing, but it does not meet the requirements of the GDPR. Among other things, WhatsApp forwards data to Facebook. However, processing by third parties must serve a separately mentioned purpose in order to be permissible. This problem cannot be solved on the part of your company.
Allow us to be very frank here: The freely available WhatsApp Business App is unlikely to be a viable solution for most companies in the EU. WhatsApp advertises that company profiles, quick responses, labels, catalogues and automated messages (welcome message and out-of-office message) are available in the business app. Unfortunately, even the most beautiful functions are worthless if you cannot use them properly. And this is exactly where the WhatsApp Business App fails. To be more precise, it fails even before you can get to those handy functions.
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