WhatsApp Messenger

Launched in 2009, WhatsApp is one of the most popular texts and voice messaging apps. It’s free to use, and you can send messages, make voice calls, and host video chats on both desktop and mobile devices. Part of what makes this app appealing is that it works on various phone and computer operating systems, helping with messaging. It can also take advantage of Wi-Fi and cellular data to make one-on-one or group calls.

WhatsApp Messenger

What’s happening with WhatsApp?
WhatsApp began notifying users last month of its updated terms of service and privacy policy, which people must agree to in order to keep using the app beyond February 8. Many users expressed concerns about a section of WhatsApp’s privacy policy that details what user data is collected and shared with parent company Facebook, which has a troubled reputation when it comes to protecting user data.
All private messages between individuals and most businesses on WhatsApp are protected by end-to-end encryption, meaning the app can’t see them or share them with Facebook (users will be notified before chatting with a business where messages are not end-to-end encrypted). But WhatsApp does collect other user information, such as how and when someone uses the app and user device information like IP addresses.

WhatsApp Messenger

WhatsApp’s privacy policy states that user information it collects may be shared with other Facebook companies “to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings.” However, these data-sharing practices are not new, according to the company.
Here’s what has changed: WhatsApp’s privacy was last updated globally in 2016. At the time, it offered WhatsApp users the ability to opt-out of sharing data with Facebook, an option that was available for only a short time. In this latest update, the reference to that now-expired opt-out option has been removed.

WhatsApp

The more significant update to the policy relates to WhatsApp’s business users. It discloses that businesses that use WhatsApp to talk to customers can choose to store logs of their conversations on Facebook hosting services. “The update does not change WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the company remains “deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy.”

WhatsApp Messenger

In short: No additional WhatsApp user data will be shared with Facebook after accepting the new terms than was shared before. That is unless you took advantage of the opt-out in 2016. WhatsApp has been trying to misspell confusion over the updated policy, including by publishing an FAQ on its privacy practices.

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