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WhatsApp updated its privacy policy, allowing it to share data with Facebook

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WhatsApp recently updated its privacy policy, adding a new mandate that allows the app to share account data it collected to Facebook and related companies. The new policy will take effect on February 8, 2021. Users will have to accept it to continue using the messaging app.

Should you agree to WhatsApp’s new terms, here’s what you will be giving Facebook and affiliated companies access to:

  • Account information (such as your mobile number, profile names, profile photos, status message, phone numbers in your address books)
  • Usage and log information
  • Transaction and payments data
  • Service-related information
  • Information on how you interact with others when using WhatsApp
  • Device and connection information
  • IP addresses

To be fair, WhatsApp reiterates that they still provide end-to-end encryption to your messages and do not retain messages and chats in their servers.

WhatsApp to drop support for older phones

The new policy also details how Facebook companies will use your account data:

  • 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 of 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.

For more information about WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy, you can check it out on this link.

WhatsApp joined Facebook in 2014. The instant messaging app featured state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption through the Signal Protocol, an open source encryption scheme that is heavily audited by independent security experts.

In 2016, users were given a one-time chance to opt out of sharing account data to Facebook. The change in policy now means users no longer have a choice, or lose access to the app.

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Bryan is a tech enthusiast and self-admitted geek who enjoys blogging and watching NBA clips on YouTube. He has over 20 years of experience in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations from different industries such as telecommunications and banking.

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