Facebook has been banned from collecting and storing the data of German users on its messaging app, WhatsApp.


According to the Hamburg commissioner for data protection and freedom of information, Facebook has not obtained effective approval from WhatsApp's 35 million German users.


“Facebook is also ordered to delete all data that has already been forwarded by WhatsApp,” the watchdog said.

The European Court of Justice recently suggested that international companies must comply with national data protection laws if they process data in those countries, and Facebook markets its German-speaking business through a subsidiary in Hamburg.


Facebook said in a statement, “We will work with the Hamburg DPA in an effort to address their questions and resolve any concerns.”


“After the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook two years ago, both parties have publicly assured [users] that data will not be shared between them,” said commissioner Johannes Caspar in a statement.


EU and US regulators say that the update needed to be investigated. The UK's information commissioner is investigating the changes.