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New WhatsApp Privacy Policies Allows Data Sharing with Facebook

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Starting today, WhatsApp users have started receiving an in-app notification regarding WhatsApp's new terms and privacy policy. The notice talks about three main updates that will affect how WhatsApp will be processing your data and how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats, and how WhatsApp will soon partner with Facebook and offer deeper integration across all the products.

The message also reveals that these changes are going into effect on February 8th, later this year, and users will not have any choice but to accept these changes if they wish to keep using WhatsApp.

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Users Will Have to Accept New WhatsApp Privacy Policy and Terms if You Wish to Keep Using the Service

You can check the screenshot below. It seems to be rolling out in phases as I have not received it, but folks over XDA and many other people have already received it.

Something similar took place last year; however, back then, WhatsApp gave users the option not to have their account information shared with Facebook. However, with the latest change, WhatsApp is no longer giving you a choice, and users will not have any other way but to accept the terms and privacy policy. Accepting the terms will allow WhatsApp to share the data with Facebook and other Facebook companies.

This is what the official statement has to say,

The information we share with the other Facebook Companies includes your account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address, and may include other information identified in the Privacy Policy section entitled ‘Information We Collect’ or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent.

The updated privacy policy also highlights how other Facebook companies are going to use the information collected from WhatsApp.

  • helping improve infrastructure and delivery systems;
  • understanding how our Services or theirs are used;
  • promoting safety, security, and integrity across the Facebook Company Products, e.g., securing systems and fighting spam, threats, abuse, or infringement activities;
  • improving their services and your experiences using them, such as making suggestions for you (for example, of friends or group connections, or interesting content), personalizing features and content, helping you complete purchases and transactions, and showing relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products; and
  • providing integrations which enable you to connect your WhatsApp experiences with other Facebook Company Products. For example, allowing you to connect your Facebook Pay account to pay for things on WhatsApp or enabling you to chat with your friends on other Facebook Company Products, such as Portal, by connecting your WhatsApp account.

If you wish to learn more about the privacy policy, you can head over here and check everything yourself. Do let us know what you think about this move by WhatsApp. I can see many people not being happy about this change, including myself, but considering how WhatsApp is perhaps one of the most used messaging apps, leaving it will be difficult for many people.

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