WhatsApp new privacy policy: Explained

WhatsApp updated their terms of service and privacy policy couple of days ago. The new privacy policy gives more insight into how WhatsApp will use user data and they share it with its parent company Facebook in the future. February 8, 2021 is the last date to accept these in order to continue using the platform.

But this privacy policy looks suspicious. WhatsApp states it would be collecting more personal information for personalized ads. WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy and terms of service provide information on how the app collects and handles user data. There are new sections including Transactions and Payments Data as well as Location Information to provide details on precise data collection by the app. WhatsApp has also included specific information on business interactions taking place through its messaging app.

So what does new policy say? What hardware information is it collecting? What personal data does WhatsApp going to collect?. Does is affect my privacy? If yes how does it affect us? What about payments? What about web WhatsApp?

Lets find answers for all these questions!

What are the important policy changes?

The older version of the privacy policy, used to start with the following lines: ‘Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA. Since we started WhatsApp, we’ve aspired to build our Services with a set of strong privacy principles in mind.’

These lines are no longer a part of new privacy policy. WhatsApp says its end to end encryption in implemented which means it can’t read or share our data with anyone. But the new policy increases the working the data sharing with parent company Facebook.

What hardware information is WhatsApp collecting?

WhatsApp states it is collecting your device information such as “battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP), language and time zone, IP address, device operations information, and identifiers (including identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).” These information were not collected by WhatsApp earlier.

And if a person deletes WhatsApp from his/her mobile phone without using in – app delete account WhatsApp will retain the data of that user. So deleting just the app doesn’t going to help you anyway. It also says that “when you delete your account, it does not affect your information related to the groups you created or the information other users have relating to you, such as their copy of the messages you sent them.”

Will WhatsApp share your messages with Facebook?

Actually no. WhatsApp remains to be end-to-end encrypted — no third party can read them but the owners can read our personal chats. In a statement, WhatsApp said: “The update does not change WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family… WhatsApp claims to be protecting user data but we are not sure how would they keep their words.

What data will WhatsApp share with Facebook?

WhatsApp shares information like account registration information (phone number), transaction data (WhatsApp now has payments in India), service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses), mobile device information, and IP address to its parent companies.

Do you get ads in WhatsApp?

The answer of this question as of now is no. WhatsApp is still ad free. But in near future it is expected that WhatsApp might get ads. As of now WhatsApp data is being used to serve personalized ads across Facebook group of companies.

What about payments data?

WhatsApp rolled out their payment feature recently and its not surprising to payment data is also being used. WhatsApp says that if you use their payments services they will “process additional information about you, including payment account and transaction information.”

Do I need to accept the policy?

Most software companies update their terms and conditions according to the current need of the world. And WhatsApp is not exception. This time WhatsApp has given a deadline till Jan 8 ,2021to accept the new privacy policy or delete account. So if we don’t accept we won’t be able to use WhatsApp anymore. So if you don’t want to use WhatsApp anymore you can delete the account and delete the app.

A lot of people seem to be switching to Signal from WhatsApp. Signal is also another messaging app with end to end encryption and has similar features like WhatsApp.

Hope you got an idea of WhatsApp’s new privacy policy and how they use our data for their profits. If you have any questions comment down below and we will answer them. Also don’t forget to share to your friends and family. Comment down your thought on this new WhatsApp privacy policy change. Check out our 5 alternatives for WhatsApp

Thank you visiting Burgee Byte! Have a great day!

Kevin Joe Harris

Tech enthusiast who loves to share his knowledge and express his thoughts!

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