Upcoming iOS 13 VoIP Change That Restricts Background Access to Impact Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp

An upcoming change in iOS 13 that limits data collection practices using VoIP APIs will impact apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, forcing them to be redesigned, reports The Information.

Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp allow users to make calls over the internet, and to listen for those calls, the apps run in the background of an iPhone or iPad so calls can connect quickly. While running in the background, the apps are also able to collect data, something that Apple is putting a stop to in ‌iOS 13‌.

Background access for apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp will be restricted solely to internet calls going forward, with no background data collection available.

Sources that spoke to The Information said that this change will force Facebook to redesign its messaging apps, and that it could have a "particularly heavy impact" on WhatsApp. WhatsApp apparently uses the internet calling feature for multiple other functions, including its end-to-end encryption.

Other messaging app developers that have used the internet calling feature to keep apps running in the background on iOS devices will also need to rebuild their apps. This will include apps like Snapchat, WeChat, and more.

Facebook told The Information that Facebook was not collecting data through its calling feature.
"The changes to the upcoming iOS releases are not insignificant, but we are in conversations with Apple on how best to address," the spokesperson said. "To be clear--we are using the PushKit VoIP API to deliver a world-class, private messaging experience, not for the purpose of collecting data."
Facebook says that it is having conversations with Apple on how to address the coming changes in ‌iOS 13‌. Apple is making the change in ‌iOS 13‌, but developers will have until April 2020 to comply with the new rules.

Apple says that the change will better protect user privacy and will result in performance improvements for iOS devices as background app usage for this purpose can drain system resources and shorten battery life.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

Top Rated Comments

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24 weeks ago
That‘s one reason why I like Apple :)
Rating: 58 Votes
24 weeks ago

To be clear--we are using the PushKit VoIP API to deliver a world-class, private messaging experience, not for the purpose of collecting data.

Well I’m certainly not going to take their word for it.

As far as I’m concerned, Facebook’s main function is to collect and sell data.
Rating: 56 Votes
24 weeks ago
Mark Suckerberg has left the chat
Rating: 30 Votes
24 weeks ago
If you look closely you can see me holding the world's smallest violin, playing the world's saddest song for Facebook.
Rating: 26 Votes
24 weeks ago
World class my ass. It's Zuckerberg/Sandberg's Facebook. Everyone with a brain knows it's for data mining and nothing but data mining.
Rating: 17 Votes
24 weeks ago
I came here to read comments of people complaining about Tim Cook ..... I’ll come back later
Rating: 14 Votes
24 weeks ago

I wonder if it will affect Google Voice.

Hope so, we don’t need Google harvesting our data
Rating: 13 Votes
24 weeks ago
I am quite okay with losing WhatsApp and Facebook functionality. Just knowing that Apple is constantly and consistently working to keep our data private makes it worthwhile.

In fact, I’d be okay if MacOS updates forced me to delete FB entirely. I mean, it’d suck for like 2 minutes or so but I’m 99% certain life would go on.
Rating: 13 Votes
24 weeks ago
an easier solution is to delete anything remotely associated with FB
Rating: 11 Votes
24 weeks ago

WhatsApp is essential to anyone who has friends or family overseas, especially if one party is in a developing country. I would imagine that losing WhatsApp would force 100Ks of users to switch to Android. I don't use Facebook Messenger very much, but some people occasionally use it to contact me, and it would certainly be a disruption and inconvenience to them.

Can’t recommend signal ('http://www.signal.org') enough as a replacement for WhatsApp. If you can convince people to swap, you’ll never go back.
Rating: 10 Votes

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