Thursday, March 23, 2023

WhatsApp: let us share your data with Facebook or other

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Upon closer inspection, the updated policy makes it clear that the data collected by WhatsApp – including users’ phone numbers, “transaction data, service information, information about how you interact with it” others (including businesses) when you use our services, mobile device information, your IP Address ”and more may be shared with other properties owned and controlled by Facebook.

“As part of the Facebook companies, WhatsApp receives information and shares information (see here) with other Facebook companies,” updated privacy policy bed. “We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, personalize, support and market our services and their offerings, including products of the company Facebook. “

Although a similar language exists in previous versions of the company’s privacy policy, updates now reveal the full scope of information that WhatsApp is able to share – and may be mandated – with other Facebook affiliates.

The change appears to be a dramatic about-face for WhatsApp, a company that claims ‘respect for your privacy’ is encoded in its DNA and has become an end-to-end encryption standard for all chats as of 2016.

That said, one could read the policy change as a move towards more openness – WhatsApp may have already collected and shared all of this data, before deciding to define the scope of the data involved in this latest update. If so, an effort for clarity has led mainly to more dismay.

This is largely thanks to the way WhatsApp handles this situation compared to similar instances in the past. For example, the service announced in 2016 that it would start sharing user data with Facebook for better ad targeting, but gave users the option to at least partially refuse data sharing. And following the latest major privacy policy change, WhatsApp has offered at least some of its users the option to opt out of data sharing, according to BloombergQuint. At the moment, it doesn’t look like Facebook and WhatsApp are offering a similar outlet for those troubled by these changes.

However, WhatsApp has said other things. In a comment provided to PCMag, a spokesperson noted that – from a functional standpoint – very little would change for existing WhatsApp users, and that people who previously opted not to share data with Facebook in 2016 will remain excluded, even after accepting the new conditions. In comments provided to Ars Technica Following the news, Facebook also said the change was primarily focused on changing the way businesses interact with their customers on the platform. Meanwhile, Niamh Sweeney, Director of WhatsApp Policy for the EMEA region, noted on Twitter that users in Europe won’t have to worry about sharing their data with Facebook, at least for ads.

This is good news for EU residents, but many other WhatsApp users are considering their alternatives. Thanks to the news of the service’s privacy policy changes – not to mention Elon Musk’s terse endorsement – Signal secure messaging app reported delays in issuing verification codes “Because so many people” are trying to join right now.


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