The latest WhatsApp update is scary.

There is no denying that WhatsApp is one of the most popular social apps in the world. It has been there since 2019, it was founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum who were employees of Yahoo.

WhatsApp’s popularity has continued to grow since it was acquired by Facebook in 2014. WhatsApp allows users to send text and video messages, make video calls and voice calls, share documents, location and also other media making it one of the most reliable communicating app.

Like any other application WhatsApp has its terms and privacy policies which have continued to change over the years. However, the latest 2021 terms and privacy policy have raised alarm to users since it touches three key updates that will affect how WhatsApp processes user’s data, how Business can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage data and how they will partner with Facebook to offer integrations across the Facebook Company Products.

You can read more about the new terms and privacy policy here

 

Things have changed form this “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.” 

To this “Our Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”) helps explain our data practices, including the information we process to provide our Services.”

WhatsApp can’t read our chats since its end to end encrypted but it does collect data from us. 

Here is a list of what data WhatsApp collects;

  • The phone model you are using
  • Your battery status
  • Operating system
  • Status update
  • IP Address
  • Time zone 
  • Signal Strength 
  • Payment and Transactions ( If you use WhatsApp pay)
  • Group details
  • About info

As per the new terms and privacy policy (starting this February), all the data that can be accessed by WhatsApp will be shared to Facebook and other Facebook Companies. This data can be used to bring you more personalized ads and recommendations on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook now will have full access of your WhatsApp data unlike in the past where you had an option to disable it. 

Even though there are No Third-Party Banner Ads  the terms state “we still do not allow third-party banner ads on our Services. We have no intention to introduce them, but if we ever do, we will update this Privacy Policy.” You can check the terms here.

This could be an indication that WhatsApp might introduce ads in future, we will just have to wait and see.

Its now obvious that we are witnessing WhatsApp the Facebook company and its no longer the privacy focused messaging application we once knew. 

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