WhatsApp Business to unlock 600 pharmacy accounts after preliminary injunction | Applications and Software

O Whatsapp blocked hundreds of accounts from handling pharmacies, accusing them of violating their terms of use. An injunction issued by the TJDFT (Court of Justice of the Federal District and Territories) determines that the Facebook, owner of the application, must restore the service to all companies within 15 working days, under penalty of daily fine.

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The lawsuit was opened by Anfarmag (National Association of Magistral Pharmacists), an entity that represents Brazilian handling pharmacies. Since October, WhatsApp has been blocking accounts of these companies, claiming that they violate their terms of use.

Substitute judge Alex Costa de Oliveira mentions the Marco Civil da Internet in his decision. Online service providers are required to remove content that violates Brazilian law, and need to inform the reasons for this removal – in addition to allowing the user to appeal.

“It will be up to the internet application provider to communicate the reasons and information regarding the unavailability of content, with information that allows the adversary and the wide defense in court”, says article 20 of Marco Civil. WhatsApp does not disclose the specific reasons for suspending accounts, nor does it allow to appeal the decision.

In addition, the judge believes that the suspension of accounts can cause losses to pharmacies, “notably because the use of the application in the corporate environment has become essential for communication with customers and suppliers”.

Therefore, the judge orders the urgent release of the full operation of these accounts in WhatsApp Business. The injunction must be met within 15 working days, under penalty of a daily fine of R $ 100 for each blocked cell phone number – there are about 600 in total.

WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp Business prohibits sale of medicines

THE WhatsApp Commercial Policy establishes that companies cannot sell or promote the sale of prescription drugs.

Meanwhile, the WhatsApp Business Policy prohibits the use of the application “to send or request health information if applicable laws limit the distribution of such information to systems that do not meet the requirements necessary to process that health information”.

WhatsApp also warns that it can restrict or remove your access if a company “violates or encourages others to violate our terms and policies, as determined in our sole discretion”.

In the process, pharmacies say they did not make sales through WhatsApp: they informed customers about handling products, gave guidance and sent quotes – service and payment was always done at the physical establishment. In addition, WhatsApp accounts were used to share administrative and financial documents.

The judge’s decision in case 0710512-14.2019.8.07.0018 can be seen in full here.

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