WhatsApp to Require Users to Share Data With Facebook Via New Privacy Policy

You’ll soon have no choice but to let WhatsApp share your data with company parent Facebook if you’d like to keep using the service.

The messaging app has published a new privacy policy, which takes effect on Feb. 8. “After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp,” the service has been telling users via an in-app alert that asks them to agree to the policy.

If you don’t agree, the same alert subtly suggests you delete your account.

The new privacy policy

The upcoming change will disappoint WhatsApp users who’d like to minimize the data collection from Facebook, a company that’s faced repeated privacy controversies. WhatsApp’s previous privacy policy allowed you to opt out of sharing the data when it came to powering ad targeting and “product experiences” for Facebook.

However, the opt-out came with a condition: you had to activate it within the first 30 days of signing up with the service. (Even if you did, WhatsApp could still share your account data with Facebook for the purposes of “operating and providing” the messaging service.)

The new privacy policy for WhatsApp offers no such opt-out. It goes on to specify what kind of information it can collect and also share with Facebook and its subsidiary companies. The data includes the phone number for your WhatsApp account, profile name and photo, who you’ve been communicating with, and the financial transactions you’ve made over the app.

“We share your information to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our services,” WhatsApp adds in the privacy policy. The will include sending you friend recommendations, personalizing content, and showing relevant ad offers across Facebook’s various products.

Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on why it nixed the opt out. But the company has been working to integrate WhatsApp with the rest of the Facebook messaging ecosystem. As the privacy policy also notes, businesses you contact over WhatsApp can share their data with Facebook, presumably to help them with ad targeting, and the message will be subject “to the business’s own privacy practices.”

However, messages sent over the app will remain end-to-end encrypted, meaning neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read them…Read more>>

Source:-pcmag

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