Waking up on the morning of 6th January, many people were greeted by this message.

Now, understandably, many people were confused by what these changes are all going to be. So here are some of the changes that WhatsApp and Facebook is introducing to the platform’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Collection Of Data For Third Party Services

WhatsApp has made it clear that the company is sharing information with “third-party service providers and other Facebook Companies in this capacity…”

Usage Of Third-Party Services In WhatsApp

While earlier there only used to be iCloud and Google Drive mentioned in the policy since they are commonly used as a way to backup messages and media for users, now there are various Facebook products that have also been included.

This section states that when users use or rely on “a third-party service or another Facebook Company Product linked through our Services, such as when you use the in-app player to play content from a third-party platform,” then information like IP address, the user being a member of WhatsApp and more will be shared with Facebook or the third-party service.

WhatsApp Will Now Be Storing Your Messages And Media

Apparently, as per the updated policy, WhatsApp will now be able to store forwarded media on its servers.

As per the policy, WhatsApp states “When a user forwards media within a message, we store that media temporarily in encrypted form on our servers to aid in more efficient delivery of additional forwards.”

It will also be storing messages, albeit undelivered ones, on a temporary basis. The policy states that “If a message cannot be delivered immediately, we keep it in encrypted form on our servers for up to 30 days as we try to deliver it. If a message is still undelivered after 30 days, we delete it.”

Sharing Your Data With Facebook And Connected Companies

The policy also states that WhatsApp will share data with Facebook and other companies associated with it to ‘help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings’.

This all data will be collected from users and shared with other Facebook companies:

  • Your account registration information.
  • Transaction data.
  • Information on how you interact with others.
  • Mobile device information.
  • Your IP address.

The exact words used in the policy are “The information we share with other Facebook companies includes your account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our services, mobile device information, your IP address, and may include other information identified in the Privacy Policy section entitled ‘Information We Collect’ or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent.” 

No Third-Party Banner Ads (YET)

Although WhatsApp still does not allow third-party banner ads on the platform, however, the language used for it was interesting.

Specifically, it states that “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.”

This means that ads are not completely out of the picture and could any time be introduced to the platform.

Deleting Account Might Not Solve Everything

Apparently, even deleting one’s account will not make one safe since as per the updated policy WhatsApp will still retain some information for a long time.

The policy states, “Please remember that when you delete your account, it does not affect your information related to the groups you created or the information other users have relating to you, such as their copy of the messages you sent them.”

As of now, one can opt for the option of ‘Not Now’ however anyone wanting to continue using WhatsApp will have to accept these new policies by February 8th, 2020.

As if all this wasn’t enough in a very sweet way WhatsApp stated that, “By tapping AGREE, you accept the new terms and privacy policy, which take effect on February 8, 2021. After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp. You can also visit the Help Center if you would prefer to delete your account and would like more information.”

So there is no other option but to accept these new changes or lose access to WhatsApp or delete your account of your own will. Because if you don’t accept these changes you will not be able to use your WhatsApp account.

This mandatory feature of the updated terms was first spotted by WABetaInfo who often tracks new features and updates that are going to be added to the platform.

You can read the full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy here.


Read More: WhatsApp Encryption Is Not Foolproof; Chats Can Be Accessed In These Ways


Twitter Reaction

In no time at all, this started to trend on Twitter, with many people making fun of WhatsApp, Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg over these changes.

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These new updates have certainly made a lot of people think about whether continued use of WhatsApp is still necessary since many of the things that really attracted us to it, like security and no invasive data gathering are slowly going away.

I hardly doubt it will stop at this only and we might soon see ads and more on the platform in the near future.

It is important that you should not just blindly agree to these terms and policy updates since once you do so you cannot really go back.

So it is extremely necessary that you read these new updates even if the language might be a bit long and boring and filled with complicated terms that feel like they are meant to jumble our brains.


Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: Hindustan Times, Business Insider, Moneycontrol 

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: WhatsApp Changes Terms, whatsapp, facebook, WhatsApp new terms of service, whatsapp terms of service, whatsapp privacy, whatsapp data, whatsapp data collection, whatsapp privacy policy, whatsapp privacy policy update, whatsapp terms of service update, whatsapp facebook


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