WhatsApp New Privacy Policy 2021: 6 Concerning Updates Every Consumer Needs To Know!

  • AUTHOR: anam
  • POSTED ON: January 8, 2021

Facebook-owned instant messaging application, WhatsApp has updated its privacy policy and terms of services. This development has caused confusion and concern for people all over the world.

An in-app notification was sent to users on Tuesday, which shared information about these key updates. Besides letting the users know of the upcoming changes, the message also informed them that they have till Feb. 8 to accept the updated privacy policy, after which they will lose access to the application.

Related: You can now fact check messages on WhatsApp.

If you have no idea what WhatsApp’s new privacy policy 2021 entails, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what every consumer needs to know about the updated policy:

1. Increased Connection to Other Facebook Products

If you read the older versions of the privacy policies, you know how the message begins. It used to say, “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA. Since we started WhatsApp, we’ve aspired to build our Services with a set of strong privacy principles in mind.”

This paragraph has been removed from the message. The application remains end-to-end encrypted, which means the company can’t see your messages or share them. The new update has, however, increased reliance on other products by Facebook. The notification reads, “When the users rely on third-party services or other Facebook Company Products that are integrated with our Services, those third-party services may receive information about what you or others share with them.”

See: The discussion between Trump and Mark Zuckerberg.

This is similar to when you use Google Drive or iCloud to backup your chats and these platforms get the right to access those messages.

What this means in the case of WhatsApp is that when you rely on third-party services, information such as your IP address will be provided to these services or to other Facebook company products. Moreover, the new policy states that their own terms and policies will be applied instead of WhatsApp’s when you’re using third-party services.

Moreover, the notification by WhatsApp also explains to the user in great detail how they collaborate and work with Facebook and other related companies. They shared information regarding the data exchanged between the platforms, including information around ‘improving infrastructure and delivery systems’, safety and security, service experiences, and much more.

Related: Facebook has launched cross-platform messaging on Instagram!

This exchange of information will enable companies to offer relevant ads to users across Facebook Company products. An example of a WhatsApp-Facebook integration is the payment of products on WhatsApp using Facebook pay services, which are only available in a few countries around the world.

2. It’ll Collect Hardware Information

Under the new policy changes, WhatsApp will have the right to your hardware information, including your device’s battery level, signal strength, application version, mobile network, browser information, and connection information. Along with that, language, time zone, IP address, and device operations information will also be recorded.

3. Deleting Account is Not So Simple

Even if you decide to delete your account because of the absurd new updates, you should know that your information will remain stored on the platform’s server. Deleting the application from your device won’t be enough.

According to the policy, “When you delete your account, it does not affect your information related to the groups you created or the information other users have relating to you, such as their copy of the messages you sent them.”

4. Data Location and Storage

The user data is being stored in data centers and Facebook’s global infrastructure in the United States and others all over the world. The privacy policy also states that data can be transferred to other places where Facebook companies are based.

“These transfers are necessary to provide the global Services set forth in our Terms,” states the privacy policy. One of the most concerning things about the new update is that even if you’re not using any location-related features, your IP address, the phone number is code, and estimated location will still be collected.

5. Businesses Will be Getting Your Data

Any business you interact with using your device will also be provided with your information. The new WhatsApp privacy policy states that any details or content you share with a business via WhatsApp can be accessed by several people in that business.

“Businesses might be working with third-party service providers (which may include Facebook) to help manage their communications with their customers.” If you want a better understanding of how your information will be handled by this business, you’ll need to read the “business privacy policy or contact the business directly” article in the users read send by WhatsApp.

6. Payment Data Will be Stored

WhatsApp has introduced payment features in India and other parts of the world, so it was natural to expand on this section of the privacy policy. However, you might not like what it has to say. If you use WhatsApp’s payment services, the company will have the right to process additional information about you, such as your transaction information and payment account.

Since the notification about the new privacy policy was circulated, the conversation about it has broken the internet. Elon Musk took to Twitter to ask his followers to ‘Use Signal.’ People are also suggesting to download Telegram on their phones. Mike Butcher, the editor of TechCrunch, also endorsed Signal and Telegram as suitable alternatives.

“WhatsApp will share its users’ personal information, including phone numbers, IP addresses, contacts, & more with Facebook from Feb. 8, according to the new T&Cs. No opt-out. The only way to object is to leave the service & move to a service like Signal or Telegram,” he said.

Ughhh, this is super frustrating. While we don’t want to give away all the important details about our lives to corporate companies, we also don’t want to lose access to our favorite messaging application. How else are we supposed to video call and chat with our friends and family with so much ease? We hope WhatsApp decides to take back these updates so we can keep on using them in the future.

Will you be accepting the new privacy policies, or will you be letting the application go? Let us know your thoughts on this matter on our Facebook page. If you found this blog useful, make sure you keep coming back to our website for similar content and like our Facebook page.

Updated January 8, 2021
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