The Facebook-owned messaging platform Whatsapp has announced that they have introduced new rules for its users. Whatsapp said by February 8, 2021, those living outside the European Region would have to accept this new updated policy or risk losing their account, I mean you can’t say No.
But the real question is, what is the truth over the changes?
WhatsApp said that “As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, this family of companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings.”
It is that summary that has led to the concerns, and fears that people’s WhatsApp data might not be protected.
The fact is that the “information” collected by WhatsApp is not chats, since those are encrypted and therefore can’t be seen by the company even if it wanted to. What that means is that your private WhatsApp conversations are safe with you. Whatsapp or Facebook can’t have access to your private conversations or harvest is for use of ads or other purposes by Facebook, for instance.
Rather, the information is personal data such as the phone number of users and their contacts, profile names and pictures, and diagnostic data.
However, WhatsApp insists that those inside the European region will not see any changes to the use of their data, even if they accept the terms of the new policy.
WhatsApp’s Director of public policy in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Niamh Sweeny, shared that, “It remains the case that WhatsApp does not share European Region WhatsApp user data with Facebook for the purpose of Facebook using this data to improve its products or ads.”