Procon-SP notifies WhatsApp, stipulates a fine and states that only ‘earthquake’ bookstore app of sanctions after global crash

GONÇALVES (MG) – Procon-SP reported this Tuesday (5) that it will notify WhatsApp due to the “blackout” that left the messaging application out of operation on Monday (4).

According to the São Paulo consumer protection agency, the application may also be fined, if there is an understanding that the failure caused notorious moral and material damages to the population. The fine can reach around R$ 10.7 million.

The value is calculated based on the “severity of the infringement, the advantage gained and the economic condition of the supplier”, said, in a note, Procon.

WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, all belonging to Mark Zuckerberg’s social media conglomerate, have gone globally inoperative. In Brazil, the breakdown lasted between six and seven hours.

According to Fernando Capez, president of Procon-SP, “many people suffered losses due to the deficient provision of the service”.

In addition to the failure having prevented people from communicating across the globe, many businesses that use the app to market products and services have reported revenue losses due to the error.

According to Capez, Procon-SP will seek to find out from the application the reasons that caused the interruption of the message exchange service and, based on the explanations given by the company, assess what measures will be taken.

The president of the agency exemplified that only an event of great magnitude and beyond the company’s control could free the application of administrative sanctions. “Only an external fortuitous event, an earthquake, a very strong event, can exempt WhatsApp from responsibility,” he said.

“Internal failures do not exempt the service provider from responsibility”, completed the manager of the São Paulo agency.

For Procon, consumers who felt harmed by the fall of WhatsApp services “should wait for the information provided by WhatsApp to the [órgão]”.

WhatsApp said, in a note sent to InfoMoney, who worked hard to restore the service as quickly as possible, which happened the same day. Although it has not yet been notified by Procon-SP, the application stated that it “remains available to provide any necessary clarifications”.

Blackout Causes

The breakdown in the functioning of the social networks of Mark Zuckerberg’s group was caused by an internal system failure and not by a hacker attack.

“We want to clarify that, this time, we believe that the cause of the fall was a change in configuration,” Facebook said in a statement.

The same problem was pointed out as the cause for taking down the social network in June this year. At the time, Facebook was not working for at least 2:30 am.

In the crash with global consequences this Monday, Facebook said that the problem started during the change in a structure that coordinates traffic between its data centers, which generated a ripple effect that blocked communication and affected other centers of the company leading to the “blackout ” to WhatsApp and Instagram.

Technicians were deployed to the company’s data center in Santa Clara, California. There, they performed a manual “reset” which, in IT jargon, means a restart of the servers, so that the company’s systems are back up and running.

The Zuckerberg Group also said that the problem affected “many tools and systems that we use in our daily operations” and that this would have complicated “attempts to diagnose and resolve the problem quickly.”

Facebook reinforced that it is not possible to say, at the moment, that its users’ data were leaked during the crash. The group’s applications concentrate around 2.7 billion subscribers.

The social media group apologized for the inconvenience during the blackout. “To all the people and companies that depend on us, we regret the inconvenience caused by the interruption of our platforms”, he said.

Instabilities in messaging apps

Message exchange services, which work as alternatives to WhatsApp, also presented instabilities with the absence of giants in the social media sector this Monday…

Telegram occasionally crashed and generated complaints from many users, hours after WhatsApp went down. The scoldings were mostly focused on how the app works on the cell phone.

“OK. The Telegram also crashed. What is this Brazil? Technological apocalypse,” wrote an Internet user via Twitter.

Another network that presented instabilities and complaints was Teams. The application very used to exchange messages in companies also had a peak of instabilities.

The only major social network that remained unscathed during the blackout was Twitter, which became an oasis of memes against the situation registered by competitors.

Internet services provided by telephone operators were also criticized by users.

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