Procon-SP notifies WhatsApp, which can be fined R$ 10 million

Right after the blackout on Facebook platforms on Monday (4), Procon-SP issued, on Tuesday (5), a notification to the WhatsApp messaging application. In addition to the two, Instagram, which is also owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s company, was also down for more than six hours.

As a result, platform users, as well as small and medium-sized companies, may have been affected, says Fernando Capez, director of the consumer protection agency. “Only in an external fortuitous event, which is an earthquake or a very strong event, will you be able to exempt WhatsApp from responsibility”, he said.

“Consumers who feel harmed by the drop of the signal should wait for the information provided by WhatsApp to Procon”, evaluated Capez. According to him, internal failures “do not exempt the service provider from liability”. The fine for any moral and material damages can reach R$ 10.7 million, the agency said to Folha de São Paulo.

The messaging application, which also has a business version called WhatsApp Business, should answer the reasons for the unavailability of operation. From the answers, Procon must analyze the justifications and decide whether to proceed with the fine, which can also be appealed by the application.

In note to the TechWorld, WhatsApp clarifies that “has not yet received a formal notification from Procon-SP, but remains available to provide any necessary clarifications.” “WhatsApp recognizes the importance of its role and the trust placed by companies and people in the application. The company worked hard to restore the service as quickly as possible, which happened on the same day,” says the note.

Facebook apologizes to users

Facebook apologized to users for the inconvenience and restored services late last night. According to the company, what happened was a configuration error in routers, but that did not put users’ data at risk.

“Our engineering teams found that configuration changes to the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused problems that disrupted communication,” the statement says.

In addition to Facebook platforms, internet traffic was unstable on several others. Telegram felt a massive number of users using its service, while Twitter also suffered from instabilities.

Article updated on October 5, 2021, at 18:16, with WhatsApp positioning.