Interoperability for WhatsApp & Co is on the way

vzbv publishes statement on a consultation for the EU Digital Markets Act

Mann hat Smartphone in der Hand

Credit: GamePH - AdobeStock

The EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) obliges major messaging services to provide interoperability from 2024. Ideally, consumers can then communicate across different messaging services. For this to work, the European Commission needs to define a technical framework for data protection and data security.

The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) held a public consultation on issues relating to the implementation of the DMA in practice. In its contribution to the consultation, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband – vzbv) calls for the European Commission to provide a clear framework for the technical design, data protection, and data security. Gatekeeper platforms must not be solely responsible for determining how interoperable systems work. The European Commission’s framework should prevent major messaging services from choosing a technical design that works exclusively to their benefit and to the disadvantage of competitors and users. The obligation for messaging services to provide interoperability is scheduled to take effect from March 2024.

Among other things, vzbv recommends the following:

  • The European Commission must provide a framework for the technical design of the interoperability obligation set out by the DMA.
  • The interoperability obligation must not lead to weaker data protection and data security for consumers who consciously choose a service that prioritises these aspects.
  • Legislators must ensure that a standard uniform encryption protocol becomes mandatory in order to safeguard the privacy of communication.



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Designing interoperable Messenger Services | Response of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations | February 2023

Response of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) to the public consultation on the “BEREC report on Interoperability of Number-Independent Interpersonal Communication Services” |  February 2023

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