Billion Shekel class action suit filed against WhatsApp

Two months ago, a request to approve a one billion NIS (approximately 287 million US Dollars) class action lawsuit was filed with the District Court of Tel-Aviv, against WhatsApp, the California-based company that develops and distributes the popular texting app (recently acquired by Facebook). The application for approval of the class action suit alleges a number of causes of action, including consumer deception, negligence and violation of autonomy. It argues that contrary to the company’s representations, the messages that the app transmits are not properly encrypted, thereby exposing them to interception and monitoring. The lead plaintiff, represented by Advocate Yossi Fuchs, bases her claims on an alleged security breach in the application that a Dutch student revealed. The lawsuit is also supported by an expert opinion. The plaintiff assessed the damages to the putative class at 1 billion NIS, citing the fact that two million Israeli users downloaded the app, each suffering damages that she estimates at approximately 500 NIS. Since WhatsApp has no business presence in Israel, the lead plaintiff is also asking the court to allow her to serve the complaint to the company in California.