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.

NI students face exclusions from school activity over uniform infringements

  • According to an online survey by the Parent Engagement Group (PEG) and Secondary Students’ Union of Northern Ireland (SSUofNI), 36% of school students have experienced exclusion from a school activity for not wearing the correct uniform.
  • The survey also found that 75% have been disciplined in school for a uniform infringement.
  • Over 1,000 responses were received from students across the post-primary sector in Northern Ireland on the impact of school uniforms and PE kits.
  • While most respondents said PE was the main activity they were excluded from, there were also incidents of exclusion from school trips and internal events like prize day and music performances.
  • Over 80% agreed or strongly agreed that pupils should be involved in the current review of school uniform grants.
  • Full story, here.