According to the App’s new terms and conditions, UPDATED WhatsApp users must agree to share their personal information with Facebook and its wider empire if they want to continue using the messaging service.
“We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products.”
Following this development, WhatsApp users who want to keep using the software must agree to allow their personal info to be shared with not only Facebook but also its subsidiaries as and when decided by the tech giant.
It was gathered that Users will be presented with the following choice in the app: accept this arrangement by February 8, or be blocked from using the end-to-end encrypted chat app.
It would be recalled that when WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014, it promised citizens that its instant-messaging app would not collect names, addresses, internet searches, or location data.
In a blog post, CEO Jan Koum wrote: “Above all else, I want to make sure you understand how deeply I value the principle of private communication. For me, this is very personal. I was born in Ukraine, and grew up in the USSR during the 1980s.
“One of my strongest memories from that time is a phrase I’d frequently hear when my mother was talking on the phone: ‘This is not a phone conversation; I’ll tell you in person.’ The fact that we couldn’t speak freely without the fear that our communications would be monitored by KGB is in part why we moved to the United States when I was a teenager.”
But two years later, however, that vow was destroyed by, well, capitalism, and WhatsApp revealed it would be “coordinating more with Facebook,” and gave people the opportunity to opt out of any data sharing. But this time around, there is no opt-out for the sharing of data with Facebook and its tentacles. Koum left in 2018.
In view of this, users who wish to keep using WhatsApp must be prepared to give up personal info such as their names, profile pictures, status updates, phone numbers, contacts lists, and IP addresses, as well as data about their mobile devices, such as model numbers, operating system versions, and network carrier, to the mothership.
It was also disclosed that if users engage with businesses via the app, details such as shipping addresses and the amount of money spent on orders may be passed to Facebook, too.