Municipalities can now use WhatsApp again for their external communication. Since the end of 2019, the private version of WhatsApp and the API version of WhatsApp For Business were no longer allowed to be used for this.
Talks between the Association of Netherlands Municipalities and parent company Facebook have yielded results. Facebook will allow its use by municipalities.
From mid-January, municipalities can submit an application for a license for WhatsApp For Business to so-called Business Solution Providers (BSPs) of Facebook. With such an application, a municipality must submit cases in which WhatsApp is used.
The BSP (including Obi4Wan and MessageBird) completes the request together with the municipality. Facebook indicates that possible services or topics are: crisis response, permits, agreements, municipal services and tourism. Promotion, political campaigning, collecting voter data or any form of electoral influence are not allowed.
Furthermore, the WhatsApp Government program does not allow the involvement of so-called Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). An ISV is a third party involved in the provision of services in conjunction with a BSP and the end customer.
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