WhatsApp makes data-sharing with Facebook mandatory - gHacks Tech News

WhatsApp makes data-sharing with Facebook mandatory

WhatsApp users who open the messaging client on their devices today receive an in-application notification that informs users about its updated terms and privacy policy.

WhatsApp is updating its terms and privacy policy, it reads, and it lists two or three key points and provides links to the terms and privacy policy.

Options to accept the updated terms and privacy policy are provided as well as an option to postpone the decision.

whatsapp facebook privacy update

An option to ignore the changes or don't agree with them is not provided. In fact, users who don't want to agree to the new terms have only one option, and that is to stop using WhatsApp altogether as the changes are mandatory.

The key information listed in the notification sound harmless enough:

  • Information about WhatsApp's service and how the company processes the data.
  • Information on how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their Whatsapp chats.
  • Information on how WhatsApp partners with Facebook to offer integrations across Facebook company products.

The notification that I received did not include the third option, but others have received it, e.g. as seen on XDA Developers.

One core difference between the new and the old privacy policy is that all users who accept the new privacy policy will have data shared with Facebook. Whatsapp is a Facebook company, as Facebook acquired the messaging service in 2015.

Previously, existing users who accepted the revised privacy policy of 2019 could opt-out of having data shared with Facebook, provided that they did so in the first 30-days after accepting the terms.

whatsapp disable share account info

The new Privacy Policy, which applies to all countries except those in the European Region, lists how WhatsApp works together with other Facebook companies, e.g. to better fight spam, abuse and threats, offer better security, or by providing integrations for services such as Facebook Pay. The European version of the privacy policy has been updated as well, but there are not any changes in regards to data sharing with Facebook. In other words: WhatsApp data from European users is not shared with Facebook.

WhatsApp does not reveal which information it shares with other Facebook companies or third-parties.

In any event, users of WhatsApp need to accept the updated terms and privacy policy to continue using the service after February 8, 2021. It is unclear what is going to happen to users who postpone the decision until that date. The most likely scenario is that WhatsApp will display a fixed notification that cannot be dismissed; in other words: users need to accept the terms and privacy policy before they may access their chats and data.

Now You: Do you use WhatsApp, or do you prefer a different messaging service?

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WhatsApp makes data-sharing with Facebook mandatory
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WhatsApp makes data-sharing with Facebook mandatory
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WhatsApp users who open the messaging client on their devices today receive an in-application notification that informs users about its updated terms and privacy policy.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Gerard said on January 7, 2021 at 12:27 pm
    Reply

    It’s very simple: when an internet service is free, then you, the user, are the product. So don’t use these “social” media if you don’t want to be prostituted.

    1. Finnegan said on January 7, 2021 at 8:49 pm
      Reply

      I don’t really have the chose since all my friends, my family and business partners use WhatsApp.

    2. Anonymous said on January 8, 2021 at 1:42 am
      Reply

      WhatsApp is messaging service not social media

    3. John said on January 8, 2021 at 9:25 am
      Reply

      Not sure about Telegram though.

    4. from_all_positions said on January 9, 2021 at 8:54 am
      Reply

      And you agree on every position and undisclosed number of beneficiaires…

  2. Henk said on January 7, 2021 at 12:42 pm
    Reply

    Never used Whatsapp, for obvious reasons. Instead, since several years now, I have Signal.

  3. Josh said on January 7, 2021 at 1:22 pm
    Reply

    Is this US only? I haven’t seen it in Europe yet.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on January 7, 2021 at 4:31 pm
      Reply

      Already seen it in the UK.

  4. RSWRC said on January 7, 2021 at 2:18 pm
    Reply

    If i’m in the EU nothing changes?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 7, 2021 at 7:34 pm
      Reply

      According to Facebook, nothing changes in regard to data sharing for EU users (no sharing with Facebook).

    2. asd said on January 7, 2021 at 8:16 pm
      Reply

      I live in the EU and still got the popup. It doesn’t matter anyway, Facebook will do whatever they want with their internal data, who is going to check?!?!

      1. John said on January 9, 2021 at 3:13 pm
        Reply

        asd, so true!

  5. Quixote said on January 7, 2021 at 9:14 pm
    Reply

    Fortunately, I have no friends to chat to. My privacy is saved.

    1. Finnegan said on January 8, 2021 at 8:50 pm
      Reply

      It’s kinda sad.

  6. Anonymous said on January 7, 2021 at 9:27 pm
    Reply

    Threema

    1. Mystique said on January 8, 2021 at 11:08 am
      Reply

      This is a paid for app. I don’t see anyone wanting to pay for it. If i paid for it thats fine but trying to convince all of my friends and the rest of the world to pay for it is another thing.
      It’s great that you don’t need a phone number or email for the app though unlike telegram which pretty much is somewhat of an identifiable weakness imho.

  7. Anonymous said on January 7, 2021 at 10:00 pm
    Reply

    So facebook takes an encrypted privacy based chat app and exploits it into a data mining operation, no surprises here.

  8. ULBoom said on January 7, 2021 at 11:04 pm
    Reply

    I assumed they’d already been eaten by FB; they’ve had five years to do it one tiny bite at a time.

    Our kids use it, I don’t. If they get spammed by FB, they won’t be happy but what’s the choice? A huge number of users going elsewhere doesn’t seem that likely.

    Spam/ads that match message content by coincidence could be the end of integration. FB’s trust factor is below zero and they’d never talk their way out of that. If it even matters; do most users know what WhatsApp’s main feature is?

    It’s not “All my friends are there!”

    :)

  9. D said on January 8, 2021 at 2:06 am
    Reply

    Just saw the notification yesterday. I’m Malaysian.

  10. Mystique said on January 8, 2021 at 11:11 am
    Reply

    I also had seen the message myself and immediately chose to close whatsapp and consider my options.

    Selling whatsapp to facebook wasn’t very bright. Sure financially it was great but it doesn’t rate high morally but morals don’t pay the bills I guess. I know a number of former developers of whatsapp haven’t been pleased with the sale and direction of Whatsapp. This reeks of insecurities and bullspit.

  11. ShintoPlasm said on January 8, 2021 at 12:25 pm
    Reply

    No chance. All my family, friends, colleagues and neighbours are on WhatsApp. There’s no way I’ll be able to convince even 10% of them to move to Telegram.

  12. NoOne said on January 8, 2021 at 12:47 pm
    Reply

    I am glad I never used it..I hardly use Facebook and that is only on laptop…my phone is free of this track-fest called Facebook.

    1. edio said on January 9, 2021 at 4:00 am
      Reply

      Yeah that’s all well and good but if you have a lot of friends and family that use it, it’s going to be difficult to make them switch to something else, and even if you do, how long before that alternative turns into another WhatsApp.

      1. a fad gone wrong said on January 11, 2021 at 9:57 am
        Reply

        Any friends and family who will only communicate with me via some sketchy social platform, are not the friends and family I value that much, so no matter to me.

  13. No Thanks, Five Eyes said on January 9, 2021 at 2:32 am
    Reply

    “Data sharing”, another innocent-sounding buzzword like “telemetry” for SPYWARE.

    How’s your Social Score, comrade?

  14. Mystique said on January 9, 2021 at 5:24 am
    Reply

    Just a few apps I have looked at:
    Signal, shazzlechat, edge messenger and session messenger.
    Session messenger seems to be the simpler to uptake since you don’t need an email or phone number.

    Convincing people to use any other app other than WhatsApp is frustrating and then you have to consider the long term usage and if it will meet the needs of all.

  15. unplug the beast said on January 10, 2021 at 11:57 am
    Reply

    Do you prefer a different messaging service?

    Yes, the one I was born with: talking face to face.

    All this social BS has ruined our ability to actually be social.

    1. Barton said on January 10, 2021 at 4:59 pm
      Reply

      As with many other popular software and service in our life. The problem mostly isn’t the lack of alternatives but the number of users. You could switch to a more sane messaging service but what about your friends and family? Could you persuade them to make the switch? What’s the point of switching to an alternative if people in your circle don’t want to use it?

  16. Skry said on January 13, 2021 at 11:10 am
    Reply

    Keybase is part of zoom. BBM is abandoned by Blackberry.

    Signal based on same protocol from Whisper as is WA.

    Session based on signal protocol but will quickly implement their own Session protocol(different)
    https://getsession.org/session-protocol-explained/

    Telegram (Russia) is an alternative to US based messengers :-)

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