WhatsApp updates its Terms and Privacy Policy: Makes data-sharing mandatory with Facebook

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WhatsApp users have recently received an in-app notice disclosing its new terms and privacy policy. The new policies mainly focus on 3 major updates that will have an impact on,

  1. How WhatsApp will process your data
  2. How businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store or manage their WhatsApp chats, and
  3. How WhatsApp will soon partner with Facebook to offer deeper integrations across all of Facebook’s product

The notice said that these changes will be in effect from February 8th and if users want to keep using WhatsApp, they can do nothing but agree with the terms and policy.

In the previous major update on July 2020, WhatsApp gave users the choice to either allow or “not have your WhatsApp account information shared with Facebook.” However, in this update, the option is omitted and users will have no other option but agree if they wish to continue with the most widely used instant messenger.

The privacy policy further highlights how Facebook will be using the data and information collected from WhatsApp. It includes,

  • helping improve infrastructure and delivery systems;
  • understanding how our Services or theirs are used;
  • promoting safety, security and integrity across the Facebook Company Products, e.g., security systems and fighting spam, threads, abuse, or infringement activities;
  • improving their services and your experiences using them, such as making suggestions for you (for example, of friends or group connections, or of interesting content), personalizing features and content, helping you complete purchases and transactions, and showing relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products; and
  • providing integrations which enable you to connect your WhatsApp experiences with other Facebook Company Products. For example, allowing you to connect your Facebook Pay account to pay for things on WhatsApp or enabling you to chat with your friends on other Facebook Company Products, such as Portal, by connecting your WhatsApp account.

According to Facebook, these new changes in WhatsApp’s terms and privacy policy will help them to provide better services and more cohesive experience to the users all across the globe. However, several eyebrows are raised following the privacy concerns which may result in something ‘not so pleasant’ for Facebook’s “Privacy-Focused Vision”.

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