WhatsApp has recently introduced changes in their privacy Terms and Conditions and WhatsApp asking users to accept the modified version . This new policy is creating controversy because it says now WhatsApp will be sharing user’s data with Facebook which will be used for targeted ads by Facebook.
Why people are complaining about it –
WhatsApp decided to share user’s data without taking their permission, so instead of requesting users to select the option to share the data, WhatsApp has got this option already enabled.
Technically, they do give you the option to opt out while accepting the policy changes, but this setting is not visible when they show Terms and Conditions change notification –
The button to opt out is only visible if you click on ‘Read’ option on their Terms and Conditions. This is raising questions about their intent, as most the of the users never care to read pages of Terms and Conditions. So WhatsApp is literally hiding option to opt-out while showing terms and conditions. –
This is resulting in maximum users falling in the trap and opting to share their data with Facebook even without knowing.
What information will be shared with Facebook –
WhatsApp have not disclosed the exact information which will be shared, it says they will share your data such as your mobile number. But this is a very vague statement, they are not specifying what all they will share. WhatsApp says this data will help them Facebook in showing better targeted ads. However it is not clear how this will help them. However technically once you allow WhatsApp to share your Account data, they can share anything from your app which can be (but not limited to) your mobile number, your WhatsApp call records including the numbers you call, your contact list, your user behavior patterns (when do you use it, for how much duration you use, for what purposes you use it like chatting, or calling etc).
What information will not be shared –
New version of WhatsApp gives you end to end encryption, so Facebook will not be getting your chats data or anything which you share on chat like photos and videos. Also whatever information is shared by Facebook will not be posted for other to access, so your phone number will only be with Facebook and will not be posted on your account.
How to opt out –
Other changes –
One addition in license is also that, soon WhatsApp will allow companies to send you ‘useful’ messages. Now they will not show ad banners, but it sounds more like targeted ads and native ads. So you can expect to get commercial messages coming in your WhatsApp inbox soon.
If you do not agree with these policy changes, you might start to think about alternate chat application. One thing is very clear, once WhatsApp has started dialing back to daddy, it will only keep increasing with time. If you want to switch to other Chat application, you can look at Telegram. Telegram is an open source chat client with many advance features including end to end encryption. You can learn more about Telegram messenger here.