Users perplexed over WhatsApp's new policy update

MUMBAI: On Tuesday, the users of popular messaging service WhatsApp Messenger, better known as WhatsApp, were informed about a change in its terms of service and privacy policy with an update and has given users till February 8, 2021 to accept the same to continue using the messaging platform. 

The freeware client application which was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for approximately US$ 19.3 billion, as of February 2020 has over 2 billion users worldwide.

The update notice informing WhatsApp users about the undated terms and privacy policy which popped up on all users said that key updates include more information about; "WhatsApp's services and how it processes your data, how businesses can use Facebook hosted services and store and manage their WhatsApp chats, and how they would partner with parent company Facebook. 

The user was asked to tap ‘Agree’ if they accepted the new privacy policy with an option to postpone the decision by taping on ‘Not Now.’ 

According to IT experts, the update essentially mean that WhatsApp is making users consent for data-sharing with Facebook (and may include any other of their affiliate companies) mandatory for all and the only option it has given its users is to stop using it by deleting their accounts. 

The data which WhatsApp may share can include your phone number, mobile device information, your IP address,  transaction data, information on how you interact with others. Once you agree to the new terms, while WhatsApp will collect data of every thing that is used on the app it also can collect data connected to your phone, like who is your mobile services provider, your location information, what browser you are using, what kind of internet connection etc. And remember, it will have access to your location even when your location related features based on general location.

As per the new policy WhatsApp will be using Facebook's global infrastructure and data center in US to store users data and in some cases it will also be transferred to other parts where Facebook's affiliate companies are based.

Prior to this update, users had an option to choose not to have their WhatsApp account information shared with Facebook, and till earlier privacy terms WhatsApp took users consent to grant access to iCloud or Google Drive, to backup and save their messages.

IT experts say that it is a standard practice in the industry that if one does not agrees or accept the terms and privacy policy of app developers they will not be allowed to use the services. 

So what happens after 8th January 2021, will the account gets automatically deleted, experts say 'no,' adding that after 8th January 2021, the users who have opted for 'Not Now' will have the option to latter accept them to continue the usage. 

Several users however took a jibe at the new update notice by WhatsApp and several of them took to twitter to vent their option and frustration. Dozens of hilarious memes mocked the update and people were particularly discussing on their privacy concerns.



  • Devendra Ahirwar
    Devendra Ahirwar

    Devendra is a budding reporter with keen eye for newsworthy content.

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