WhatsApp users must share data with Facebook or stop using the app

Facebookhas issued a notice to WhatsApp users stating that they need to accept the company’s new terms of service and privacy policy by 8 February 2021.

Among the changes is a clause that allows Facebook to share data from WhatsApp across its other products. In addition to its social network service, Facebook also owns Instagram and Oculus VR.

“As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, this family of companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings,” WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy states.

“This includes helping improve infrastructure and delivery systems, understanding how our Services or theirs are used, securing systems, and fighting spam, abuse, or infringement activities.

Facebook

Facebook and the other companies in the Facebook family may also use information from WhatsApp to make product suggestions (for example, of friends or connections, or of interesting content) and showing relevant offers and ads.

WhatsApp messages are encrypted, can’t and won’t be shared
The company emphasised that WhatsApp messages will not be shared onto Facebook for others to see.

“Nothing you share on WhatsApp, including your messages, photos, and account information, will be shared onto Facebook or any of our other family of apps for others to see, and nothing you post on those apps will be shared on WhatsApp for others to see,” Facebook said.

“Your messages are yours, and we can’t read them. We’ve built privacy, end-to-end encryption, and other security features into WhatsApp. We don’t store your messages once they’ve been delivered. When they are end-to-end encrypted, we and third parties can’t read them.”

Ultimatum — 8 February 2021
While these changes to WhatsApp’s terms of service and privacy policy were introduced last year (20 July 2020, according to the WhatsApp website), Facebook now requires WhatsApp users to explicitly agree to these terms to continue using the instant messaging app.

WhatsApp users have until 8 February 2021 to accept Facebook’s updated terms and policies.

Anyone who does not agree to Facebook’s new policies allowing it share data between WhatsApp and other Facebook services will not be able to keep using WhatsApp after that date.

The screenshot below shows what the popup message from Facebook in WhatsApp looks like on iPhone and Android devices.

Those who do not wish to agree to the new terms either need to press the “X” in the top right corner on iPhone, or the “Not Now” button on Android.

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