Things to Know about what WhatsApp is changing in its new Terms and Privacy Policy released on 25th August 2016.

Things to Know about what WhatsApp is changing in its new Terms and Privacy Policy released on 25th August 2016.

watsapp 1_letsupdate

The privacy policy of WhatsApp has undergone some change as of 25th August 2016. And here are some things that you must know.

1. WhatsApp has announced that it will start sharing your phone number with its parent company Facebook (Facebook acquired WhatsApp back in February 2014). This news comes to light after the company updated its privacy policy.

2. As stated by WhatsApp in its recent blog post, it is sharing your phone number with Facebook to “improve your Facebook ads and products experiences.” This doesn’t mean that you will start seeing advertisements on your WhatsApp app. But, you will start receiving more relevant ads on Facebook and get better friend suggestions.

3. The Privacy Policy also states “By coordinating more with Facebook, we’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp.” This could mean that data such as your mobile’s Operating System, mobile country code, carrier code, screen resolution, and device identifier will also be shared.

4. WhatsApp has stated that your number will be shared with the ‘Facebook family of companies’ – which most likely includes other Facebook acquired companies such as Instagram and VR firm Oculus Rift.

5. Now the big question – can you prevent WhatsApp from sharing your phone number with Facebook? Good news is, you can. WhatsApp is letting users opt out of this. Here’s how to go about it:

Option A
• If you are using the latest WhatsApp app, then you will receive the below notification anytime while you are using the app. Don’t tap on the ‘Agree’ button. Tap on “Read more about the key updates to our Terms and Privacy Policy” (fig 1).

watsapp 2_letsupdate
Fig 1

• Uncheck the green box (fig 2).

watsapp 3_letsupdate
Fig 2

• Unchecking means that you do not want WhatsApp to share your number and other data for Facebook ads and product-related purposes. Tap on ‘Agree‘ (fig 3).


watsapp 4_letsupdate
Fig 3

Option B
If you have already agreed to the new terms and conditions, you still have 30-days to reverse your decision.

Open WhatsApp > go to Settings > Account > Uncheck the box given against “Share my account info…” 

watsapp 5_letsupdate

Note: If you do not see this option under Settings > Account, there’s no need to panic. It means that you haven’t updated to the latest version or you are yet to receive the notification about the new terms and conditions.

6. We need to understand that the above “opt-out” procedure is partial. This only prevents WhatsApp from sharing your data for Facebook ads and product-related purposes. However, your data will still be shared for other purposes which the company puts as “improving infrastructure and delivery systems, understanding how our services or theirs are used, securing systems, and fighting spam, abuse, or infringement activities”.

7. This data-sharing update does not affect your communication on WhatsApp (messages, photos, videos, voice messages, and calls) which continue to be encrypted. This means that they can only be viewed by you and the person you are sending them to.

8. Users who have agreed to the new terms and conditions still have 30-days to express their disagreement. Once this window expires, they won’t be able to opt out.

9. WhatsApp hasn’t provided a comprehensive list of the types of user data it intends to share with Facebook nor anything about how Facebook will be using this data.

10. WhatsApp will continue to be ad-free.


Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post