WhatsApp is now in a defensive strategy and started to take steps for its damage control mode to stem the tide of users jumping ship. WhatsApp also took to Twitter to clarify exactly what was being shared after the privacy changes with Facebook. In India, the app took to front-page newspaper advertisements to explain exactly what data is being shared.
We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption. pic.twitter.com/6qDnzQ98MP
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 12, 2021
The policy, which was to come into effect in February starting 8, 2021, before a three-month delay was announced, was applied only for business communication.
What data will WhatsApp collect on you and share with Facebook?
Here is the list of data that will be shared with Facebook when users are communicating with any of the 50 million business accounts on the platform:
- Phone number
- Device ID
- Transaction data
- Product interaction
- User identifiers
Although, most of the data shared with Facebook will be used for better ad targeting and will benefit advertisers on different platforms of Facebook. By using your transaction, location, and other data, Facebook can optimize your advertisements for your interests. We’ve already seen this happen between Facebook and Instagram after Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.
Now, Facebook is trying to achieve the same with WhatsApp, the company should have even more granular data on communication between users and business. As an end-user, we will see better ads across Facebook’s social platforms. The data shared will also allow businesses to send you payment confirmations and transaction data over Whatsapp directly.
These privacy policies only apply to businesses who opt to use Facebook’s business hosting solutions. The company claims that conversations with such businesses will be clearly marked out with a label.
What data won’t be collected by WhatsApp?
To be honest, WhatsApp is not snooping on your private one to one communication. Your private one-to-one chats personal data or even group chats are all completely end-to-end encrypted.
Your private one-to-one chats personal data or even group chats are all completely end-to-end encrypted.
- Private chats
- Private phone calls
- Message or call logs
- Contact information
- Shared location
- WhatsApp group information
That said, there is no policy change around private One-to-One communication. These changes might apply to users unless they use WhatsApp for chatting with any business entity with WhatsApp business.
There’s no denying the fact that WhatsApp is now part of everyone’s life with 1 billion installs and users it is now everyday conversations in major markets like Europe and India. In fact, India alone has almost 340 million users to WhatsApp’s two billion user base globally. The future will say whether people opt for it or use some other app for chatting.