WhatsApp users have to agree to share information with Facebook if they want to continue using the service.
The instant messaging platform alerted users with a pop-up notice saying they “need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp”, or delete their accounts.
While the app remains end-to-end encrypted, meaning your messages are encrypted to protect against WhatsApp and third parties from reading them, the app will collect and share private data of users to Facebook, which owns the app.
There will be even greater integration between WhatsApp and Facebook’s other products like Messenger and Instagram. This means they will share data like your phone number, transaction data, IP address, and information on how you interact with others (including businesses).
WHATSAPP TO COLLECT INFORMATION ABOUT SERVICE ACTIVITY
In its update release, WhatsApp explained that it will “collect information about your activity on our Services, like service-related, diagnostic, and performance information.
“This includes information about your activity (including how you use our Services, your Services settings, how you interact with others using our Services (including when you interact with a business), and the time, frequency, and duration of your activities and interactions), log files, and diagnostic, crash, website, and performance logs and reports.
“This also includes information about when you registered to use our Services; the features you use like our messaging, calling, Status, groups (including group name, group picture, group description), payments or business features; profile photo, ‘about’ information; whether you are online when you last used our Services (your ‘last seen’); and when you last updated your ‘about’ information.”
EUROPEAN AND UK USERS THE EXCEPTION?
However, parent company Facebook has confirmed while European and UK users also need to accept new terms, they won’t be subject to the same data-sharing changes.
In a statement regarding the “European region” — the EU, EEA and post-Brexit UK — a spokesperson said:
“For the avoidance of any doubt, it is still the case that WhatsApp does not share European region WhatsApp user data with Facebook for the purpose of Facebook using this data to improve its products or advertisements.”
— Additional reporting by BANG! Showbiz.