What is New In WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

WhatsApp just updated their privacy policy, and users have from now till February 8 to accept the new terms and conditions. The new policy talks about how the user’s data is impacted when they interact with a business on the platform, and also provides more information on the integration with Facebook, the parent company of WhatsApp’s parent company.

Naturally, a lot of people online have questions about this new change and what it implies, and the way forward. So in this article, we would answer some of the most asked questions concerning this new policy and also look at alternatives you can actually move to.

 

What data will WhatsApp share with Facebook?

WhatsApp will share your account registration details, transaction data(WhatsApp has payments in some countries like India), mobile device information, IP address, service-related information, and information on how you interact with others(with businesses included) with Facebook and its other companies. But then users in the European Union can still opt out of the data-sharing with Facebook, but then everyone outside the European Union won’t get that option.

 

Will WhatsApp share your messages with Facebook?

No! This new policy doesn’t change the way WhatsApp handles personal chats. The platform still remains end-to-end encrypted – no third party can read them. In a statement, WhatsApp mentioned that: “The update does not change WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family… WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy.”

 

Why does this data exchange with Facebook matter?

The new policy is a further sign of WhatsApp’s deeper integration into the Facebook group of companies. CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2019 talked about his cross-platform vision across Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp — he called it “interoperability”. Instagram’s Direct Messages and Facebook Messenger have already been integrated. Facebook wants to bring more services to WhatsApp and has added a feature called Rooms. The integration has been taking place for a while now.

Will WhatsApp use your data for ads?

Right now, WhatsApp doesn’t show ads, and it is unlikely that ads will be present on the app. Also, thanks to end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp can’t even read your personal messages so those are safe too..

However, thanks to the increased data sharing Facebook does, this data will be used to improve ad experiences across other parts of the company which is ad-enabled.

 

Is WhatsApp storing your messages?

According to the new privacy policy, messages are immediately deleted from the WhatsApp servers once they are delivered. Only undelivered messages stay on their servers until they are delivered and deleted. Undelivered messages are also deleted after 30 days.

 

What does the new policy say about data shared with businesses?

WhatsApp has over 50 million business accounts and for them, this is a huge potential monetization model. The policy says that some “businesses might be working with third-party service providers (which may include Facebook) to help manage their communications with their customers”. WhatsApp recommends people read the Business Privacy Policy page if they are concerned with potential data sharing with businesses.

 

Do you have to accept the new privacy policy?

Obviously, if you want to continue using WhatsApp’s services, which are still completely free, then you will have to accept their terms and conditions. 

 

Conclusion

If these new changes don’t sit well with you I’m afraid you would have to delete the app(well unless you are in the European Union). And in case you wondering what messaging app you can turn to, the top that keeps coming up is Telegram and Signal. Both of these apps are privacy centered. But at the end of the day, you would still need to sometimes use WhatsApp since most people and even companies nowadays use it as their main mode of contact. 

What do you think about these new changes, tell us in the comment, and also share with your friends.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *