The popular messaging app WhatsApp has come under fire again due to privacy laws. This time, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and the Dutch Data Protection Authority released a joint statement on WhatsApp’s violation of privacy laws due to the fact that the app has access to all phone numbers in the user’s address book – regardless of whether those numbers are registered users of the app. It was also found that the massively popular app retained the phone numbers of non-users of the app, which violates international privacy laws.
This latest violation is the latest in a series of security loopholes concerning the app. Since May 2011, all messages sent using the app was not encrypted, before the company finally added an encryption layer in September of last year. Also, the closed-sourced code for the app was successfully reverse-engineered before being posted on Github. Called WhatsAPI, it allowed hackers to send and receive messages from any account.