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

WhatsApp’s new terms and privacy policy will come into effect on February 8, 2021. Users will need to accept these terms and changes in order to keep using their WhatsApp accounts after the mentioned date.

WhatsApp has updated its privacy policy.
WhatsApp has updated its privacy policy. (Pixabay)

WhatsApp on late Tuesday evening started sending in-app notifications to its users informing them about a change in its Terms of Service and its privacy policy.

“WhatsApp is updating its terms and privacy policy,” the company said in the notification that is being sent both to the Android and iOS users. The notification also mentions key updates, such as how the company processes user data, how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats and how the company partners with Facebook, it’s a parent company, to offer integrations across the Facebook Company Product. These are the same details that WABetaInfo mentioned in a report earlier this week.

WhatsApp’s new terms and privacy policy will come into effect on February 8, 2021. Users will need to accept these terms and changes in order to keep using their WhatsApp accounts after February 8. Simply said, users who don’t accept these changes will be banished from the platform for good.

As far as the specifics are concerned, WhatsApp has also updated its website that gives people detailed information as to what exactly is changing. One of the many changes that the company has made pertains to the information that it collects. “When a user forwards media within a message, we store that media temporarily in encrypted form on our servers to aid in more efficient delivery of additional forwards,” WhatsApp wrote. This section was missing the previous edition that was last updated in December 2019.

WhatsApp's updated ToS.
WhatsApp's updated ToS. (HT Tech)

The company has also updated details about a user’s connections. “ If any of your contacts aren’t yet using our Services, we’ll manage this information for you in a way that ensures those contacts cannot be identified by us,” the company added.

The company has also added a separate section on ‘Transactions And Payments Data.’ If you use our payments services, or use our Services meant for purchases or other financial transactions, we process additional information about you, including payment account and transaction information. Payment account and transaction information include information needed to complete the transaction. If you use our payments services available in your country or territory, our privacy practices are described in the applicable payments privacy policy,” the company added.

In addition to this, WhatsApp has also detailed how it processes ‘device and connection information’ and ‘location information’. “We collect device and connection-specific information when you install, access, or use our Services. This includes information such as hardware model, operating system information, 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,” WhatsApp wrote.

“We collect and use precise location information from your device with your permission when you choose to use location-related features, like when you decide to share your location with your contacts or view locations nearby or locations others have shared with you,” the company added.

In addition to this, WhatsApp has also renamed its ‘Affiliated Companies’ section to ‘How We Work With Other Facebook Companies’. In the updated section, WhatsApp shares in detail how the collaboration works and affects its day-to-day workings. This also marks a significant shift in Facebook’s approach towards its companies from being individual entities to being a part of the company’ family of apps.

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