Update 18/1/2021: WhatsApp has postponed its Terms and Conditions (TOS) update following users’ outrage over privacy concerns and their migration to more secure messaging apps like Signal and Telegram. WhatsApp, in a blog post, gave users more time to read and accept their new TOS until 15 May 2021. They also detailed that no user accounts will be deleted on 8 February 2021.

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WhatsApp’s new Terms of Service (TOS) riled up some users as it announced it will begin to share users’ data with Facebook, its parent company.

In the new TOS, WhatsApp will start sending users’ data to Facebook in order to better give users personalised advertisements in other Facebook products.

“WhatsApp must receive or collect some information to operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services, including when you install, access, or use our Services,” WhatsApp stated.

WhatsApp will automatically collect Usage and Log Information, Device and Connection Information, Location information and internet cookies from users.

The information WhatsApp collects like information associated with a user’s account and a user’s contacts is sent to Facebook and its products along with other information WhatsApp decides as data that can be used to “operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services.” These products include the Facebook app and website, Messenger, and Instagram.

For instance, if a user talked to several business owners selling promise rings through WhatsApp business accounts, then WhatsApp will send data relevant to that user’s transactions to Facebook to show more targeted ads about promise rings to that specific user.

However, WhatsApp chats will still be encrypted from end-to-end, meaning WhatsApp still can’t read users’ chats to one another.

Users can opt not to accept the new TOS and Privacy Policy. However, they will have their WhatsApp account automatically removed from their servers on 8 February 2021.


Written by John Paul Joaquin