WhatsApp still requires new privacy conditions with mandatory data sharing

WhatsApp is asking international users to agree to new privacy and terms of use again in order to continue using the service. It is also mandatory to share certain data with Facebook. Nothing will change for European users.

WhatsApp writes in a blog post that the company will again require new privacy conditions. Users must once again agree to the terms, which change how WhatsApp shares data with Facebook to better facilitate shopping and business communication in WhatsApp. However, the company will better explain what the privacy update means, because, according to WhatsApp, a lot of ‘misinformation’ has been spread about it.

In early January, WhatsApp announced that users had to agree to new privacy terms on February 8. It focused on how WhatsApp shares data with Facebook. The terms cover, among other things, how WhatsApp stores and uses transaction data for payment services, such as Facebook Pay in WhatsApp. And how data shared in conversations with companies on WhatsApp can end up with Facebook, if companies use a link between WhatsApp for Business with other Facebook services. The terms were shared via a pop-up; if users did not agree, they would not be able to use WhatsApp after February 8.

The new conditions were met with considerable criticism, because WhatsApp seemed to remove the choice from users outside the EU that WhatsApp would not share data with parent company Facebook. Within the EU, Facebook is not allowed to use data from European WhatsApp users, which means that virtually nothing has changed in the terms of use for European users, although they also had to agree to the terms. WhatsApp decided to postpone the new terms due to criticism, which the company called “confusion and misinformation.”

Users must now agree to the new terms again. That won’t be through a popup again. “We have thought carefully about how we could have handled this better,” says WhatsApp. That’s why it will share WhatsApp’s ‘values ​​and updates’ via the Status function, the company will do its best to ‘make its voice heard’ and users will see a banner in WhatsApp in the coming weeks with more information about the update. , which they can read ‘at their own pace’. It also emphasizes that chatting with a company or shopping in the app are completely optional.

In the blog post, WhatsApp finally lashes out at competitor Telegram, which recently saw a huge influx of users due to the criticism of WhatsApp’s privacy update. WhatsApp writes: “We’ve seen some of our competitors claim that they can’t see people’s messages. But if an app doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption, that means they can read your messages by default. Other apps say they can’t. are better because they have less access to information than WhatsApp. We believe that people are looking for apps that are reliable and secure, even if this means that WhatsApp has access to a limited amount of data.” With Telegram, messages are not encrypted end-to-end by default. At Signal, which also saw a doubling in the number of users, that is the case.