WhatsApp will share your data with Facebook and its companies

Pierluigi Paganini January 06, 2021

WhatsApp is notifying users that starting February 8, 2021, they will be obliged to share their data with Facebook, leaving them no choice.

This is bad news for WhatsApp users and their privacy, the company is notifying them that starting February 8, 2021, they will be requested to share their data with Facebook companies.

Curiously the announcement comes a few days after the company has updated its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.,,

“Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA,” states WhatsApp’s privacy policy. “Since we started WhatsApp, we’ve aspired to build our Services with a set of strong privacy principles in mind.”

According to Facebook, the move aims at improving the users’ experience with targeting advertising. WhatsApp currently shares specific information with Facebook companies, including account registration data, transaction data, and service-related information.

“WhatsApp currently shares certain categories of information with Facebook Companies. The information we share with the 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.” states WhatsApp.

The new policy increases the type of information that users will provide to the company, including payment account and transaction information.

WhatsApp will share data with Facebook Companies, including Facebook, Facebook Payments, Onavo, Facebook Technologies, and CrowdTangle.

Users that will not agree to the updated policy will no more able to access their accounts and could delete their accounts.

“By tapping AGREE, you accept the new terms and privacy policy, which take effect on February 8, 2021,” reads the notification sent to the WhatsApp users.

“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.”

“We collect information about your activity on our Services, like service-related, diagnostic, and performance information. This includes information about your activity (including how you use our Services, your Services settings, how you interact with others using our Services (including when you interact with a business), and the time, frequency, and duration of your activities and interactions), log files, and diagnostic, crash, website, and performance logs and reports. This also includes information about when you registered to use our Services; the features you use like our messaging, calling, Status, groups (including group name, group picture, group description), payments or business features; profile photo, “about” information; whether you are online, when you last used our Services (your “last seen”); and when you last updated your “about” information.”

WhatsApp’s updated policy includes information on how the company automatically collects information about user activity.

Privacy advocates also fear the way WhatsApp collects the huge trove of metadata.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Facebook)

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