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    WhatsApp Privacy Policy Update: What You Need To Know

    By Akhil Kapoor | 
    Updated: 28th Jan 2021 06:46 IST

    WhatsApp recently updated its privacy policy and terms of service. This update is causing quite a stir in the public. It gives more insight into how the messaging platform will use user data. In addition, more importantly, share it with its parent company Facebook going forward.  However, they issued an official statement clarifying that its data-sharing practices with Facebook have not changed.

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    Moreover, users have till February 8, 2021, to accept these in order to continue using the platform. Some users got the notification on Tuesday, many received it on Wednesday. The notification is going to all the WhatsApp users of both Android and iOS.

    What are the important privacy policy changes?

    The update states that the platform offers some optional features. In turn, they require WhatsApp to collect more information to provide these features to users who opt for them. As deemed appropriate by the platform, the users would be updated about such a collection of their information, it said. Those users who choose not to give the platform access to such additional information would not be able to use these optional features. Additionally features like users not permitting WhatsApp to access location data would not be able to share their location with their contacts.

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    WhatsApp Privacy Policy Changes

    What are some of the changes with regard to other Facebook Company products?

    It states that when 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.”

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    For example: using the in-app video player to play content from a third-party platform.

    It also clarifies that when someone is using “third-party services or other Facebook Company Products, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services and products”.

    They also explain in detail how they share information with Facebook and its group of companies. It is including the kind of information which is exchanged.  This includes information around “improving infrastructure and delivery systems,” safety and security around Facebook products. Additionally, service experiences such as making suggestions for users, personalized content around purchases, and transactions.

    More Updates in Privacy Policy?

    The platform also explains the amount of data the app collects automatically. This includes the users’ activity on WhatsApp, their service settings, their interactions with other WhatsApp users, the time and duration of their activities on WhatsApp, log files, as well as performance reports and logs.

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    They also clearly mention in the privacy policy that it uses Facebook’s global infrastructure and data centers, including those in the United States to store user data. WhatsApp’s new policy states that even if a user does not use their location-relation features. In addition, they collect “IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (city, country).”

    On the other hand, many users and biggies have tweeted on this update. Many have tweeted on using apps like Signal or Telegram for further use. However, this, in turn, brings clarification from WhatsApp.


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