After updating its terms of service on January 4, 2021, and with more than 1.5 billion users, a huge backlash faced this new update. Users feared having their private information shared with Facebook, especially after leaving no option other than accepting the new terms of service. What is the new update about, and how worried should we be?
After the news of WhatsApp’s new terms of service update and the fact that some data will be shared with Facebook, a huge backlash faced these news and users started to look for new instant messaging and calling alternatives, especially after Whatsapp’s decision to stop the users who don’t accept those terms from using the application. So what are these new terms and what exactly is the shared data?
“Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA. Since we started WhatsApp, we’ve built our services with a set of strong privacy principles in mind.”
The new terms of service agreement allows WhatsApp to share with Facebook the interaction of users with businesses and business accounts; this data helps Facebook to personalize, even more, the advertising content according to the user. So what will be shared with Facebook is only:
-How the user will interact with a business which is clearly labelled. This will help businesses improve their ads and give better personalization results for Facebook ads.
-If a user shops from a business in the app, using Facebook-branded commerce features that redirects the users to the businesses’ Whatsapp account, the data from this activity will be used for a better personalization on Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp declares that this feature will be optional and users will be informed of how their data is being shared.
All these terms of service don’t mention any private data or personal information, and, after what happened; hat’s how WhatsApp.com clarified the new update, ensuring that there is no invasion of personal privacy. In other terms, they cannot access your messages with your friends or your contacts book.
So, the data that is NOT shared with Facebook is:
-User’s private messages, group chats, or calls with friends and family and other people; they cannot even access them since they are end-to-end encrypted.
-Call logs, message logs and history.
-WhatsApp cannot see shared locations and live locations.
-Additionally, users can still use disappearing messages.
To sum up, the new terms of service are considerably safe and will not interfere with your privacy and private messages and calls. Additionally, WhatsApp showed care about user’s privacy by explaining how and what data will be used. Not to forget that Facebook and WhatsApp are commercial companies and they are always looking to improve their ads and targeting, and, in the same way, how to keep users connected to them.