What Does WhatsApp’s Updated Privacy Policy Means For Users? Find Out!

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If you are an avid user of WhatsApp (who isn’t?), then you must have surely come across an in-app pop-up asking you to agree to the app’s renewed terms of service and privacy policy. And like the majority of us, you simply opted for ‘Agree’ without reading those fine-lettered words.

Well, it turns out, WhatsApp wants you to agree to share your user-data with Facebook as part of its updated terms of service and privacy policy, which if you don’t, you cannot continue using the Facebook-owned messaging platform post 8th February 2021.

Source: Business Today

The popular messaging app first informed its Android and iPhone users about this upcoming change on Tuesday via an in-app pop-up wherein they were given an option to agree to the update directly.

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Now, apart from radical changes to from how WhatsApp collects and handles users’ data, the updated terms of service and privacy policy also included new sections such as Transactions, Payment Data and Location Information. The messaging giant included specific information about how business interactions are taking place via its platform.

WhatsApp: Privacy Coded Into Our DNA, No More?

‘Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA. Since we started WhatsApp, we’ve aspired to build our Services with a set of strong privacy principles in mind’. Those are the exact lines with which WhatsApp’s older version of privacy policy used to begin.

However, the current version has wiped that away. Sure, WhatsApp will continue to remain an end-to-end encrypted chat app which means one cannot access a user’s messages or share it with someone else. But, with the new policy update coming into effect, there is a chance that the app increasingly relies on its parent company’s products to handle user data.

The popular instant messaging app’s new terms of service and privacy policy note that the information they will share with other Facebook Companies will include users’ account registration information, i.e phone number, transaction data, service-related information, device information, IP address and in addition to these, may also include other information identified in the Privacy Policy section in the section titled: ‘Information we collect or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent.’

WhatsApp Updated Privacy Policy: A Long-Expected Move From Facebook

All in all, the move by Facebook to make sure WhatsApp updates its policies to share information with the parent company is not at all shocking as it was long anticipated. 

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Since he first acquired WhatsApp in 2014, Zuckerberg went on to express how Facebook wishes to monetize the app many times. This was also the primary reason which upset the app’s co-founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum who then proceeded to leave the company.

Facebook’s choosing to collect data from WhatsApp’s user base makes a lot of as of this moment because of the recent changes that will soon be implemented by Apple. As the iPhone-maker is on its way to cripple Facebook and other major advertisers alike, the social media behemoth surely would want to open another door for its advertisers and marketers to be able to profit off of!

Now, it remains to be seen how consumers at large react to these changes. Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk who recently became the world’s richest man, took to his Twitter handle and asked his followers to use Signal instead of WhatsApp. And, guess what? The privacy-focused app has reported observing a surge of new sign-ups since this recent development.

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