The information regulator wrote to WhatsApp, raising issues about the changes that users face if they ignore Facebook’s terms by the new deadline, 15 May.
The app insists the changes don’t allow it to expand on its ability to share data with Facebook and has no impact on the privacy of messages with phone contacts.
The regulator has raised concerns that citizens of the European Union will receive significantly higher privacy protection than South Africans and Africa.
The regulator’s professor Sizwe KaMtuze said: “The regulator is empowered to follow these steps, so the regulator isn’t just talking, this is something we are doing. We are engaging the relevant responsible party, that is WhatsApp, to see if we can engage them successfully without litigation. The steps that the regulator is taking now are in line with the power the regulator has.”