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WhatsApp Has Given You 30 Days to Decide Whether to Share Your Data with Facebook or Not

WhatsApp recently updated their terms and privacy policy, with some significant changes. This would be the first time WhatsApp would be updating their terms and privacy policy in four years. The new policy now reflects Facebook’s ownership of WhatsApp, the end to end encryption, WhatsApp calls and lots more. Of major interest is the new data sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook.

Anytime from now, you should be getting a notification on the change of terms and privacy policy. Every existing WhatsApp user has been given a 30-day ultimatum starting from 25th August 2016 to decide if they are okay with their information being used for ad targeting on Facebook or NOT. If you agree, WhatsApp says that Facebook won’t post your phone number online or give them out to anyone. Beware that once you’ve agreed to share your data, the decision cannot be reversed. Also, the option to choose is only open to existing WhatsApp users, new users on WhatsApp would have their information shared with Facebook.

WhatsApp still insists that your messages are secure. In their blog post, they said “Even as we coordinate more with Facebook in the months ahead, your encrypted messages stay private and no one else can read them. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else. We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers.”

New ways of using WhatsApp are also being explored. According to WhatsApp, “we will explore ways for you and businesses to communicate with each other using WhatsApp, such as through order, transaction, and appointment information, delivery and shipping notifications, product and service updates, and marketing. For example, you may receive flight status information for upcoming travel, a receipt for something you purchased, or a notification when a delivery will be made. Messages you may receive containing marketing could include an offer for something that might interest you. We do not want you to have a spammy experience; as with all of your messages, you can manage these communications, and we will honor the choices you make”.

To go through the full terms and privacy and policy, click here or here for the blog post

If you decide not to share your information with Facebook then when you’re prompted to accept the updated terms and conditions, click on ‘Read’ to expand the full text, a check box at the bottom of the new privacy policy will let you opt out of the data-sharing. If at the end of the 30days you’ve not reached a decision, you will be denied access to your WhatsApp account.

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Muna is a software programmer and developer with a passion for technology.

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