The move comes as WhatsApp faced a backlash from users over privacy issues. As people flocked to rival messaging platforms like Signal and Telegram, WhatsApp published a new blog post explaining the kind of data it shares with Facebook, in an attempt to clear the air. To give a perspective, Signal and Telegram added over 40 lakh users between January 6 and January 10, according to data by Sensor Tower.
WhatsApp aims to improve customer service as well as discovering business and shopping experiences on the messaging platform. “The updates related to optional business features are a part of our broader efforts to make communicating with a business secure, better, and easier for everyone,” WhatsApp said in a blog post. WhatsApp will share data with Facebook for ads purposes.
Will you lose access to your WhatsApp account?
“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8,” as per WhatsApp’s post. “We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” it added.
What data will WhatsApp share with Facebook?
“We collect device and connection-specific information when you install, access, or use our Services. This includes information such as hardware model, operating system information, 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,” according to WhatsApp.
Additionally, it also collects payment account and transaction information for users who use WhatsApp’s payments services or use its Services meant for purchases or other financial transactions.
Data that WhatsApp does not collect
WhatsApp has clarified that it can’t read the personal chats of users, neither can Facebook. Further, calls and personal messages also remain private, thanks to end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp has said it does not collect data including:
- Logs of who everyone is messaging or calling
- Shared location
- Contacts are not shared with Facebook, however, do note that phone numbers from addresses of users who give permission can be accessed by WhatsApp. This is done in order to make messaging fast and reliable, as per WhatsApp.