WhatsApp users around the world are receiving a pop-up notice, suggesting that the messaging service has something new in mind.
The only way to continue using WhatsApp after that date, is to click on that 'Agree' button to proceed, to make Facebook happy.
If users agree to the changes, WhatsApp will start sharing data with other Facebook-owned companies.
- 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.
- 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.
Some of the information WhatsApp is collecting and will be sharing to Facebook, includes location data, IP addresses, phone model, OS, battery level, signal strength, browser, mobile network, ISP, language, time zone, and even IMEI. There’s also the information about how users are messaging, calling, what groups they are attending, the Status, the profile photo, last time they're online, and so forth.
The key updates here affect how WhatsApp will process users' data, how businesses can use Facebook-hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats, and how WhatsApp can exchange data with Facebook to offer deeper integrations across all of the latter’s products.
WhatsApp is already collecting a lot of metadata related to users' account.
But since the company has added among others, a section called “Transaction and Payments Data” in a push for Facebook‘s various payment services to let users pay for different goods, Facebook needs get more user data from WhatsApp.
While the changes may help the company provide “better” services, it raises several privacy concerns that Facebook stance on "privacy".
The social titan has long said that user privacy and advertisements can go together well.
Fortunately for users in the EU, these policy changes don’t apply to them as WhatsApp has to abide by the strict requirements of GDPR.
But for other billions of users, they have to agree or start looking for an alternative messaging app because the policy will take place on February 8, 2021.
Previously, Facebook has already unified Instagram and Messenger for cross-platform communication.
Update: Facebook delayed the update to May 5.