WhatsApp Affirms User Privacy Following Backlash Over Data Sharing With Facebook

Following backlash after changing its terms and privacy policy to consolidate a significant amount of data sharing with Facebook, WhatsApp is now assuring users about the privacy measures built into its app.

whatsapp wallpapers 1

Last week, WhatsApp began informing users of updates to the app's terms of service and privacy policy. The updated agreements, which users must consent to in order to continue using WhatsApp, explicitly give parent company Facebook access to a large amount of user data. While WhatsApp has shared some user data with Facebook for years, this update consolidates data sharing for all users, including those that chose to opt-out of data sharing with Facebook in the past.

The updated terms help WhatsApp to integrate more closely into Facebook's family of products, as it aims to provide a more coherent experience to users across services, and enables the company to use gathered information on all users to display targeted ads. The widely-reported change was met with an outcry of displeasure on social media, leading to a rush to download rival messaging app Signal, and has even sparked an antitrust investigation in Turkey.

Via posts on social media, WhatsApp is now assuring users that "Our privacy policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family." It has also added to its FAQ to address users' privacy concerns relating to data sharing with Facebook.

The FAQ explains that WhatsApp and Facebook cannot see a user's private messages or hear their calls. Logs of who users are messaging and calling are not retained and shared location, contact information, and group membership is kept private.

WhatsApp suggests that the majority of data sharing with Facebook is derived from communicating with businesses that use hosting services from Facebook or after using Facebook-branded commerce services such as Shops. Either may result in targeted ads being shown to users.

However, it is noticeable that WhatsApp has mostly focused on what data is not shared with Facebook, rather than what is. The FAQ update does not acknowledge the fact, as stated under the updated privacy policy, that WhatsApp shares device and interaction information, IP address, and unspecified "other information" with Facebook.

Top Rated Comments

ejfontenot Avatar
43 months ago
I deleted it and not going back. I don’t care what they say.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
miflgr92 Avatar
43 months ago
Facebook is a cancer to society. The sooner we beat it, the better off we will all be.
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Methanoid Avatar
43 months ago
After what they forced on Oculus users, happy to delete. Moved to Signal ;-)
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SoApple Avatar
43 months ago
Too little too late, Zuck.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
123 Avatar
43 months ago
Three things:
1. If it is no biggie, as they claim, then why can I not opt out?
2. Why don't they state which information they really need and want to share, and how I or they will benefit? So I can say "ah, makes sense".
3. They have promised a lot of things in the past and then just made up their mind some time later. Such info panels are not binding at all. One year from now they will just say: Oh yes, that panel is not entirely correct. We share contacts now too. You agreed last year, read the terms.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unggoy Murderer Avatar
43 months ago
Get ****ed, WhatsApp.

They've finally pushed things too far, and everyone sees through it now. The explosive growth of Signal is excellent news, and hopefully we - as a society - can be more aware of the amount of information we're giving up every day.

May Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram all fade away into the same irrelevance as MySpace.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New App Store Delta Game Emulator

Wednesday April 17, 2024 12:19 pm PDT by
A decade ago, developer Riley Testut released the GBA4iOS emulator for iOS, and since it was against the rules at the time, Apple put a stop to downloads. Emulators have been a violation of the App Store rules for years, but that changed on April 5 when Apple suddenly reversed course and said that it was allowing retro game emulators on the App Store. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation, GameCube, Wii, and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, GameCube, Wii,...