Picture: EPA/RITCHIE B TONGO
Picture: EPA/RITCHIE B TONGO
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Berlin — Facebook and Snap have a new common foe: automotive parts maker Continental.

The German company said in a statement on Tuesday that it’s forbidding its 240,000 employees from using Facebook’s WhatsApp, or Snap’s social media service Snapchat, on any of its company-issued mobile devices, citing privacy concerns.

"We think it is unacceptable to transfer to users the responsibility of complying with data protection laws," CEO Elmar Degenhart said. "This is why we are turning to secure alternatives."

About 36,000 such devices would be affected by the ban, a Continental spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Privacy has moved from a niche topic to one of the biggest headaches for top bosses. Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into force last month, forcing everyone from neighbourhood restaurants and hotels, to Amazon and Google, to comply — or face penalties as high as nearly $25b or 4% of global annual revenue.

In its statement, Continental said the move is meant to protect its employees and business partners in light of the new regulation. Companies in other markets, such as publishing, that were unable to comply with the law before the May 25 deadline, instead chose to block anyone trying to access their websites from European internet connections.

Representatives for WhatsApp or Snap couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Bloomberg