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WhatsApp changed its privacy policy to integrate user data to Facebook

The new WhatsApp policy is a step towards the formal integration of the instant messaging network to Facebook, which according to the company, will help improve the infrastructure and delivery system, and understand how users use the services it offers.

Therefore, as of February 8, WhatsApp will share and receive information on all the services belonging to the Facebook family, which will be used to "operate, provide, improve, understand, personalize, support and promote its services and offers".

According to WhatsApp, these changes will contribute to improving the service and user experience, since it will be possible to have suggestions for connections from friends or groups, personalize functions and content, make purchases and transactions more easily and receive relevant advertising and offers through the products of the companies that make up Facebook.

For example, it will be possible to link a Facebook Pay account to pay for products or services on WhatsApp, or to be able to chat with contacts stored from another of the available services such as Messenger.

What the most popular instant messaging social network wants is to monetize its platform by allowing advertisers to get in touch with their customers through it, or even sell their products directly in the application, as is already the case in India. 

The older version of the privacy policy used to start with these lines: 'Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA. Since we started WhatsApp, we've aspired to build our Services with a set of strong privacy principles in mind.'

However, those lines are no longer part of the new privacy policy.

Screenshot of new whatsapp privacy policy

What data will WhatsApp share?

Among the data that WhatsApp will now be able to share with the other Facebook services, including Instagram and Messenger, is the activity of the users, data related to the service, the diagnosis and the performance, which are collected automatically.

This includes information on:

  • How services are used
  • The chosen settings
  • How you interact with other users or companies
  • The time, frequency, and duration of activities and interactions
  • Log files
  • Diagnostic, error, website, and performance logs and reports
  • Photo and profile information
  • Connection status

In addition to information related to the device and the connection, this includes: hardware model, operating system, battery charge level, signal strength, application version, browser, mobile network, the connection, including phone number, mobile operator or Internet service provider, language, time zone, and IP address.

As well as the precise location of the device. And it clarifies that although the options related to the location are not used, WhatsApp will use the IP address and other information, such as the area codes of telephone numbers, to estimate the general location of users and for diagnostic and resolution purposes problems.

Chats are still safe for everyone?

However, WhatsApp clarified that the content of the messages transmitted by its platform will not be shared with the other services of the Facebook family.

so in no case and in no place will the content of the conversations be sent to them. This is so because WhatsApp uses what is known as end-to-end encryption.

This type of encryption encodes the messages we send on our mobile with a unique key, and the content of the message is only decrypted when it reaches the recipient's mobile. Therefore, all the way the content of the messages is safe, since both on Facebook's servers and in the event that someone intercepts the message, its content will be encrypted and secure.

The changes in the new policy WhatsApp shall be accepted by the user if they want to continue using the application. Otherwise the application will not allow access to the chats and will delete the account.

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