WhatsApp New Privacy Policy Explained

WhatsApp is a messaging platform that allows its users to exchange messages, voice calls, and video calls. Users can also share their live location through WhatsApp. Although, a late entrant to the market, WhatsApp has managed to gain a wide set of users due to its instant and high-quality services. This messaging application is used worldwide and as a result of its constant upgrades, the users do not want to switch to any other application. A lot of competitors exist in the market including Viber, messenger, etc. but WhatsApp has managed to remain on top since the beginning due to its consistent services. However, things changed drastically in the last few days as WhatsApp has introduced a new privacy policy for its users. The users are shocked as they believe that the new privacy policy will invade their privacy. Let us take a look at what the new policy states.

WhatsApp New Privacy Policy Explained

Does the new WhatsApp privacy policy actually provide “Privacy“?

The new privacy policy notification pops up on WhatsApp every day, however, the users can make their decision whether they want to accept or reject the new update in almost a month. So, it seems like WhatsApp is forcing its users to accept their new privacy policy. However, the users are just not ready to accept the policy as one user states: ‘This new WhatsApp privacy policy update is CREEPY and we should be concerned about it’. This shows the resentment of users towards this new privacy policy.

The policy states that once the users accept it, their personal information including phone numbers will be shared with Facebook. As WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, it has been decided that the data will be shared between both applications. However, this sudden change did not go well with the users and they are not ready to accept a privacy policy that asks users to share their personal information. The privacy policy is shown to the users almost every day and they are given a choice to ignore this update until a certain time period. After that time limit, the users won’t have any option left as the application has clearly asked the users to delete their account if they are not ready to share their personal data. Shocking, right?

WhatsApp New Privacy Policy Explained

Shared Information

The information shared by WhatsApp to Facebook includes the application version, battery, network, time zone, and language. Currently, WhatsApp has 2.5 billion active users and the users have shown great resentment towards this new update. WhatsApp initially stated that it provides end-to-end encryption to its users but the current integration of Facebook and WhatsApp shows that this is somehow not the case anymore. The shared data will be used by Facebook for business purposes such as targeting the right set of users for Facebook Ads. The data will be saved to Facebook’s global data centers.

How to avoid data invasion?

As per the statement of WhatsApp’s spokesperson, the users can only save their privacy from being breached if they choose to delete their WhatsApp account through the in-app feature made for it. Deleting your WhatsApp account by any other method will not protect your data. The information previously shared with other people or in some WhatsApp groups will not be deleted even if the account is deleted by the user as the copy of those messages will keep on existing.

WhatsApp stance on the issue?

Initially, the silence was maintained by the owners of WhatsApp but recently a spokesperson has commented on the new privacy policy. He stated that such policies are very common and the users can review the terms and conditions in order to make an informed choice. The main reason behind data sharing is to allow the integration of Facebook and WhatsApp. The users living in the United Kingdom do not have to follow the new privacy policy as it is not applicable in the UK.

WhatsApp’s spokesperson also states that this new update will not produce any kind of hindrance in the communication between people and the data-sharing practices will remain the same as well. The only difference will be made in the business sector as the shared information will aid businesses.

Now that we are fully aware of all the terms and conditions of the new privacy policy introduced by WhatsApp, we can decide whether we want to update our settings to use WhatsApp or delete this application forever. Certain users are looking at the competitors, however, some people believe that this change will not breach their privacy as WhatsApp has clearly stated that the data will only be used to benefit businesses to target the right set of users. Also, the time given to users is enough to make a wise decision by carefully reviewing all the features of this new privacy policy, so choose wisely.

Masab Farooque
Masab Farooque is a Tech Geek, Writer, and Founder at The Panther Tech. He is also a lead game developer at 10StaticStudios. When he is not writing, he is mostly playing video games