WhatsApp’s new privacy policy forces you to accept significant data sharing with Facebook

WhatsApp has silently updated its service terms and privacy policy in a way that enables the sharing of a significant amount of user data with Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company.

XDA Developers reports that WhatsApp customers are now beginning to be greeted with a notice after opening WhatsApp informing them of the impending changes related to data processing, WhatsApp’s hosted services for businesses and how WhatsApp will soon partner with Facebook for much deeper integration across all of the latter’s products.

The information we share with the other Facebook Companies includes your account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address and may include other information identified in the Privacy Policy section entitled ‘Information We Collect’ or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent.

Facebook says shared data will be used for “understanding how our services or theirs are used,” “improving their services,” “making suggestions for you,” “personalizing features and content” and “showing relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products.”

Tapping “Agree” accepts the new terms and privacy policy, which take effect on February 8, 2021. “After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp”. It sucks that you don’t have a choice — it’s either WhatsApp’s way or the highway — you won’t be able to continue using WhatsApp past the cutoff date unless you accept the new terms.

How to permanently delete your WhatsApp account

WhatsApp has even removed the previous opt-in for limited date sharing with Facebook! Now people who don’t want to share their WhatsApp account data with Facebook have no other choice but stop using the service after February 8. Perhaps sensing ensuing user backlash, the WhatsApp prompt event includes a line which instructing customers to visit the WhatsApp Help Center should they wish to eventually delete their account.