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WhatsApp Privacy Policy Update Explained

WhatsApp Updated Privacy Policy explained

The move comes a month after Apple started requiring iOS app makers, including WhatsApp, to detail the information they collect from users. This is not a new move by WhatsApp, they have actually been doing it for years (without users knowing), they just wanted to make their privacy policy clear and honest.

WhatsApp Updated Privacy Policy

WhatsApp have updated their privacy policy and have given its users an ultimatum of Febuary 8 to agree to the terms. In this updated privacy policy, it clears states that WhatsApp has the right to share users data with Facebook. Some of the data that WhatsApp collects includes:

  • User phone numbers
  • Other people’s phone numbers stored in address books
  • Profile names
  • Profile pictures and
  • Status message including when a user was last online
  • Diagnostic data collected from app logs
  • WhatsApp, according to the App Store, reserves the right to collect:

This implies that WhatsApp can legally share all of this data with Facebook. This is done so that Facebook can show more targetted ads to you and thereby gain more money. When Facebook knows you better, your interests, your location, your IP address, etc, it can predict what you’re gonna like. The privacy policy clearly states that user the information it collects is “to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings”. This move by Facebook is understandable because ad revenue is Facebook’s major source of income.

Why did WhatsApp have to Update their Privacy Policy

The update in privacy policy came as a result of Apple’s new privacy settings on iOS 14 which is present on iPhones. The iPhone operating system requires iOS app makers, including WhatsApp, to detail the information they collect from users. WhatsApp, according to the App Store, reserves the right to collect:

  • Purchases
  • Financial information
  • Location
  • Contacts
  • User content
  • Identifiers
  • Usage data and

Can WhatsApp see my Messages?

All private messages between individuals on WhatsApp are protected by end-to-end encryption, this means that the app can’t see them or share them with Facebook. All your texts, photos, audios, videos, calls and even video calls are secure and cannot be interfarred with. WhatsApp only collects user information, such as how and when someone uses the app and user device information like IP addresses.

Should I ditch WhatsApp?

WhatsApp does what it does pretty well. It is still the excellent messaging app that it used to be. However, if you care much about your data then you can look to other alternatives such as Signal and Telegram. For most people I think it wouldn’t matter because it is something that WhatsApp has been doing since and they didn’t even notice. Switching to a new messaging app also has its cons, it might not be so popular, not all of your contacts might be using it and all. So it depends on what you value. If your data and privacy is very important to you, then you might want to try a more secure messaging app.

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