Almost everyone in the world who has access to a smart phone is using WhatsApp. For the miniscule of people who don’t know what WhatsApp is, WhatsApp is free to download messenger application for smartphones. WhatsApp uses the internet to send messages, images, audio or video. The service is very similar to text messaging services, however, because WhatsApp uses the internet to send messages, the cost of using WhatsApp is significantly less than texting.
- WhatsApp still remains end-to-end encrypted, which means your messages are safe.
- WhatsApp is bringing in three updates — how the app processes your data; how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats, and there will be more integration of Facebook’s other products with WhatsApp
- Agreeing to the terms will mean that a user’s private data, including their phone number, will be shared with Facebook, which owns WhatsApp.
- The update comes in the form of an in-app notification, which users can choose to ignore until the date arrives.
- All users must agree to the new terms by 8th February 2021, or else lose access to their chats and contacts.
- WhatsApp even added a separate section called “Transactions and Payments data” specifying the platform will process additional information even for payments, made through the app. The company claims this is for analytics purposes, although it would provide its unique identifiers to other Facebook Companies.
- One can also visit the Help Centre if you would prefer to delete their account.
What does data collected include?
Data collected includes:
- battery level
- signal strength
- app version
- browser information
- mobile network
- connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP)
- language and time zone
- IP address
- device operations information and
- identifiers (including identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).
What information WhatsApp will share with Facebook?
- WhatsApp has also explained in great detail how they work with Facebook and its group of companies, including the kind of information which is exchanged.
- This includes information around “improving infrastructure and delivery systems,” safety and security around Facebook products, service experiences such as making suggestions for users, personalised content around purchases and transactions.
- Finally, it also mentions that the information exchange will include to improve “relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products.”
- Some examples given of WhatsApp-Facebook integration are the ability to pay for products on WhatsApp using Facebook Pay, which is available in the US.
- However, this is no longer present in the latest version.
- The new policy also means that simply deleting the app from a device will not prevent WhatsApp from retaining a user’s private data.
- To ensure WhatsApp no longer continues to do this, users must instead use the in-app feature for deleting their account.
- The policy notes that even after using this delete feature, some data will remain with the company, stating, “when you delete your account, it does not affect your information related to the groups you created or the information other users have relating to you, such as their copy of the messages you sent them.”
With around 2.5 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is by far the most popular messaging app in the world. However, since it was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion, it has faced criticism for the way it handles users’ data. WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum stepped down as the firm’s chief executive in 2018 due to a reported irreconcilable clash over Facebook’s decision to monetise personal data in the app.