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WhatsApp to require users to share data with Facebook

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WhatsApp has updated its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service on Monday and it comes with an additional info on how the users’ data are handled.

The company has started notifying users through the app that they are required to share their data with Facebook starting February.

Even though WhatsApp boasts about focusing on user’s privacy, the company is now giving its users a severe ultimatum, with three options: to accept sharing their data with Facebook, to stop using the app altogether, or to delete their accounts.

According to the company’s last year’s privacy policy, the users were able to choose not to have their WhatsApp account info shared with Facebook.

But now, the users are forced to accept sharing their data with Facebook to continue using their account or, they must delete their accounts.

As per the notification when the user taps AGREE, they must the new terms and privacy policy, which will be enforced from February 8, 2021.

After that date, the users must accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp. Those who wish to know more information or prefer to delete their account can visit the Help Center.

Facebook companies can access collected data

WhatsApp will now also share the users’ data with the other ‘Facebook Companies’, which can happen even if the users do not have a Facebook account and have never used Facebook before.

The Facebook companies that will get access to WhatsApp users’ data when the new policy changes take effect in February include Facebook, Facebook Payments, Onavo, Facebook Technologies, and CrowdTangle.

The collected information may be used by the companies to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market the Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products.

WhatsApp states that the information they share with the other Facebook Companies includes the user’s account registration information (such as phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how they interact with others when using their Services, mobile device information, IP address, and may include other information identified in the Privacy Policy section entitled ‘Information We Collect’ or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent.

Besides, location data, payment information, as well as device diagnostics data are also collected.

The Facebook companies use the WhatsApp user data to:

  • help improve infrastructure and delivery systems
  • understand how the Services are used
  • promote safety, security and integrity by securing systems and fight spam, threats, abuse, or infringement activities
  • improve services and user experiences
  • provide integrations to connect WhatsApp experiences with other Facebook Company Products.
Priyanka R
Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Author at Cyber Safe News

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