Well, here’s the real surprise – don’t you know that WhatsApp is already doing that?
Find out what’s going on, and what WhatsApp is really changing…
Otherwise, the alert subtly suggests, you should “delete your account”.
Hello? WhatsApp Is Already Sharing Data With Facebook!
Many WhatsApp users are shocked by this new development, and pondering about whether they should jump to Telegram or some other instant messenger.
What’s more egregious though is that many websites are “warning” their readers about this new, shocking development.
The fact of the matter is – WhatsApp has been sharing data with Facebook for years!
In The Beginning : Private Communication Assured
After Facebook bought WhatsApp for a cool US$19 billion, Jan Koum set the record straight on 17 March 2014 :
Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible: You don’t have to give us your name and we don’t ask for your email address. We don’t know your birthday. We don’t know your home address. We don’t know where you work. We don’t know your likes, what you search for on the internet or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change that.
2016 : WhatsApp Starts Sharing Data With Facebook
In August 2016, WhatsApp announced that they would start sharing data with Facebook, after rolling out end-to-end encryption.
At that time, WhatsApp offered existing users a special one-time only option to opt-out of the data sharing, but only if they did it within 30 days.
If you did not opt-out within 30 days back in August 2016, your data would be shared with Facebook.
This opt-out option was NOT provided to new WhatsApp users who registered on or after 25 August 2016.
After 24 September 2016 : WhatsApp Has Been Sharing Data With Facebook
With the singular exception of existing users who managed to opt-out by 24 September 2016, the data of every other WhatsApp user has been shared with Facebook.
8 February 2021 Onwards : More Information Is Shared
What will really change from 8 February 2021 onwards is the additional information that WhatsApp will share with Facebook :
- Status Information. You may provide us your status if you choose to include one on your account. Learn how to use status on Android, iPhone, or KaiOS.
- Location Information. 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. There are certain settings relating to location-related information which you can find in your device settings or the in-app settings, such as location sharing. Even if you do not use our location-related features, we use IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (e.g., city and country). We also use your location information for diagnostics and troubleshooting purposes.
- User Reports. Just as you can report other users, other users or third parties may also choose to report to us your interactions and your messages with them or others on our Services; for example, to report possible violations of our Terms or policies. When a report is made, we collect information on both the reporting user and reported user.
Opted Out In 2016? It Is Still Honoured!
WhatsApp will apparently continue to honour the decision of those who opted-out of data sharing in August 2016.
For those who opted out, you can agree to the new policy, and your data will still NOT be shared with Facebook.
To check if you opted-out in August 2016, you will need to check in your WhatsApp account – Settings > Account > Request Account Info.
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