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WhatsApp will begin sharing data with Facebook

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If you’re an avid WhatsApp user then you will have received a notification about the app’s 2021 privacy changes. Read on to find the low-down on the new changes and how they will affect you.

WhatsApp has always prided itself on its high privacy levels, with its end-to-end encryption meaning messages can’t be viewed by even the app itself. Now, it’s introducing new privacy policies, affected by Facebook.

The app was purchased by Facebook in 2014 and has a userbase of over 2 billion worldwide, the majority of which received a pop-up regarding the changes. For now, users can choose to leave it a few days before they accept, but by February 8th, that option will be completely gone and users will need to accept them to keep using the app.

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 15: In this photo illustration, the social media application logo, WhatsApp is displayed on the screen of a computer on March 15, 2019 in Paris, France. Social media Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp have been affected by a global outage for nearly 24 hours on March 14, 2019 cutting virtual worlds to nearly 2.3 billion potential users. Facebook has explained the causes of malfunctions that have disrupted its networks in recent days. This failure is due to the "server configuration change" that has caused cascading problems Facebook is excused for the inconvenience caused to users and companies that are dependent on Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp to run their business.(Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

What are the privacy policy changes?

In short, WhatsApp’s new privacy policy essentially sees them sharing your data with parent company Facebook, although it won’t be all of your data.

“As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, this family of companies,” states the new policy.

“We work with third-party service providers and other Facebook Companies to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services.”

  • Messages sent on WhatsApp will still be encrypted and will not be shared with Facebook. However, other information such as your contacts, profile names and pictures, shared locations and diagnostic data, will all be shared with Facebook in order to personalise ads to greater detail for you.

WhatsApp also has a ‘Transactions and Payments data’ section of the policy, which states that any purchases you make through WhatsApp will save the data of the purchase and share it with Facebook.

Although messages in general will still be encrypted, WhatsApp’s latest feature of business communication, allows businesses to host their account with Facebook instead of WhatsApp, and so any messages with those businesses may be stored and seen by Facebook. However, users should reportedly be alerted when this happens and so can choose not to message those companies should they wish to.

  • INSTAGRAM: App’s new privacy terms, as shown by Madonna!
PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 31: In this photo illustration the Facebook logo is seen on the screen of an iPhone on January 31, 2019 in Paris, France. The social media Facebook revealed to have paid teenagers to watch their activities on their phone. The company has offered Internet users to download the application "Facebook Research" to observe all their deeds and actions, against payment. Despite this, Facebook shares soar by 11% in the wake of the announcement of a net profit up 61% to $ 6.9 billion for the last quarter of 2018.(Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

Who will be affected by the new policies?

European users of WhatsApp will not be affected but the 2021 privacy changes, even if they are prompted to agree to the terms.

“There are no changes to WhatsApp’s data sharing practices in the European region [including UK] arising from the updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy,” said a spokesperson to The Independent.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, it is still the case that WhatsApp does not share European region WhatsApp user data with Facebook for the purpose of Facebook using this data to improve its products or advertisements,” reads the policy.

The post WhatsApp will begin sharing data with Facebook appeared first on HITC.

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