Accepted WhatsApp’s new privacy policy? Facebook pretty much has access to all your data now

    WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, something you must accept before February 8, is going to have a significant impact on users. Here’s what it entails and what it means for you.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Jan 07 2021, 17:18 IST
    With the new policy, WhatsApp is well and truly a Facebook product now and no longer has any autonomy left.
    With the new policy, WhatsApp is well and truly a Facebook product now and no longer has any autonomy left. (Pixabay)
    With the new policy, WhatsApp is well and truly a Facebook product now and no longer has any autonomy left.
    With the new policy, WhatsApp is well and truly a Facebook product now and no longer has any autonomy left. (Pixabay)

    Privacy was a significant part of WhatsApp, but that's all about to get diluted thanks to the new privacy policy that's being enforced. If you are a regular WhatsApp user, you would have seen the new privacy policy pop-up. You will have to accept and agree before February 8 if you want to keep your WhatsApp account post that date.

    With the new policy, WhatsApp is well and truly a Facebook product now and no longer has any autonomy left. This updated policy means significant impact on users and how their data is used. So, taking a deep dive, here's what you need to know as a WhatsApp user:

    What will not change

    The one thing that remains the same is that your messages are still end-to-end encrypted.

    What is going to change

    WhatsApp is bringing in three updates with the new privacy policy - how the app processes your data, how businesses can use Facebook-hosted services to store and manage WhatsApp chats and now there is going to be more integration of Facebook's other products with WhatsApp.

    What data does WhatsApp collect?

    We have told you about this already, you can read details here. But just to remind you, WhatsApp collects data on - “battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP), language and time zone, IP address, device operations information, and identifiers (including identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account)”.

    While none of this is particularly alarming, this point wasn't a part of WhatsApp previous privacy policy.

    Also Read: Here's exactly what data each messaging app collects

    What information is going to be shared with Facebook?

    Pretty much all the data WhatsApp collects is going to be shared with Facebook. WhatsApp's new privacy policy states that your phone number, IP address and mobile device information will be shared with Facebook - “The information we share with the other Facebook Companies. includes your account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address, and may include other information identified in the Privacy Policysection entitled ‘Information We Collect' or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent”.

    No banner ads on WhatsApp, yet

    WhatsApp has said that they are not going to put up banner ads in the app, however, the company has also said that if they do introduce these ads they will update their privacy policy. So, you never know!

    Where will your data be stored?

    WhatsApp is going to use Facebook's global data centres to store your data. This wasn't a part of WhatsApp's older privacy policy.

    Also Read: WhatsApp updates Terms of Service: Accept it or your account will be deleted

    Deleting your WhatsApp account will not secure your data

    If you are going to delete your WhatsApp account from the app it will not delete your data. “When you delete your account, it does not affect your information related to the groups you created or the information other users have relating to you, such as their copy of the messages you sent them,” the privacy policy states.

    Be careful while talking to Business accounts on WhatsApp

    “When you message with a business on WhatsApp, keep in mind that the content you share may be visible to several people in that business,” the privacy policy states.

    This essentially means what when you interact with a business on WhatsApp, there is no knowing how your data is going to be used and it could also be shared with third-party service providers.

    “A business may give such third-party service provider access to its communications to send, store, read, manage, or otherwise process them for the business,” notes the privacy policy.

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    First Published Date: 07 Jan, 17:18 IST
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