Continental AG has banned the use of social media apps such as WhatsApp and Snapchat in its offices globally, effective immediately.
The German technology and automotive supplier said June 5 that it believed such services have deficiencies when it comes to data protection.
Conti said it had been monitoring the business practices of certain software and IT service providers “with concern.”
“They access a users' personal and potentially confidential data such as contacts, and thus the information of third parties who are not involved,” Conti explained.
According to the Hanover-based firm, access to the contact list cannot be restricted within those apps.
This, therefore, shifts the responsibility for complying with data-protection laws onto the users of the apps.
“The risks this poses in terms of data protection are not ones the company is willing to take,” Conti noted in a news release.
The decision has been made in the wake of a recent European general data protection regulation (GDPR), which came into effect May 25 and aims to give control to citizens over their personal data.
Referring to Conti's “vision zero” target, which aims to bring down road traffic accidents to zero, Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart called for “such a ‘vision zero' for data traffic as well.”
“Personal data is not a fundamental requirement for connected, automated and autonomous driving. For most applications, anonymous data is entirely sufficient,” explained Degenhart.
Degenhart said a “privacy by default” principle has been adopted by Conti which ensures that the “strictest privacy settings” are applied automatically without the user having to do anything.