Facebook said it would appeal against an order by a German privacy regulator on Tuesday to stop collecting and storing data of German users of its messaging app WhatsApp and to delete all data that has already been forwarded to it.
The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information said Facebook was infringing data protection law and had not obtained effective approval from WhatsApp's 35 million users in Germany.
"After the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook two years ago, both parties have publicly assured that data will not be shared between them," commissioner Johannes Caspar said in a statement.
Facebook, the world's biggest social network, bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock in an effort to reach a younger audience.
"The fact that this is now happening is not only a misleading of their users and the public, but also constitutes an infringement of national data protection law," Caspar added.