ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The Turkish Competition Board said on Monday it launched an investigation into WhatsApp and its owner Facebook Inc after the messaging app asked users to agree to let Facebook collect user data including phone numbers and locations.
“The Competition Board has opened an investigation into Facebook and WhatsApp and suspended the requirement to share Whatsapp data,” it said.
Rival messaging apps Signal and Telegram have since seen a sudden increase in demand.
Turkey’s government has targeted social media companies with new restrictions and fines since it passed a law in July it says bolsters local oversight of the foreign firms. Critics say the law stifles dissent from Turks who resorted to online platforms after the government tightened its grip on mainstream media.
(Reporting by Ebru Tuncay; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)