What you should know about WhatsApp’s new privacy policy and why it’s important

“Respect for your privacy is encoded in our DNA. " This was part of the WhatsApp privacy policy. Yes, it was part of WhatsApp, but not anymore. Facebook's proprietary instant messaging platform is updating its privacy policy, which could have a huge impact on users. If you are concerned about how your data is being used, we will tell you all about the new privacy policy on WhatsApp and why it is important:

What has changed in the new privacy policy

For starters, WhatsApp remains end-to-end encrypted, which means your messages are safe. WhatsApp offers three updates: how the application handles your data; How businesses can use Facebook-hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp conversations, and there will be further integration of other Facebook products with WhatsApp.

What data will WhatsApp collect?

With regard to device data, this is what WhatsApp will collect, according to the new privacy policy, "battery level, signal strength, application version, browser information, mobile network, contact information ( including phone number, mobile operator or ISP), language, time, area, IP address and information. Device identifiers and operations (including unique identifiers for Facebook products associated with the same device or account). There is nothing to worry about as such, but this particular point was not part of the previous WhatsApp privacy policy.

What information will be shared with Facebook

Well, almost everything. WhatsApp's privacy policy clearly states that it shares your phone number, IP address, and mobile device information with Facebook. Information we share with other Facebook companies. It includes your account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information about how you interact with others (including businesses) when you use our services, mobile device information, and your IP address. . And it may include other information specified in the section of the privacy policy titled "Information We Collect" or obtained through notice or with your consent, "the Privacy Policy states.

No banner ads on WhatsApp, just for now

WhatsApp has so far refrained from placing those pesky ads in the app, saying it "has no intention of presenting them either. However, it also says "but if we do, we will update this privacy policy." So you never know, these annoying ads may appear.

What data will WhatsApp store and where

WhatsApp's new privacy policy states that even if you don't use location-related features, it will collect "IP addresses and other information, such as area codes from phone numbers, to calculate your general location (city, country)."

The privacy policy also states that WhatsApp will use Facebook's global data centers, including those in the United States, to store data. This was also not part of WhatsApp's previous privacy policy.

Deleting your WhatsApp account will not "secure" your data

If you delete your WhatsApp account directly from the application, it will not mean that your data has also been deleted. The policy states: "When you delete your account, this does not affect your information about the groups you create or the information that other users have for you, such as your copy of the messages you sent them." You will have to dig deeper to clear your WhatsApp data if you want to delete your account.

Be careful when interacting with companies on WhatsApp

The policy states: "When you message a business on WhatsApp, please be aware that the content you share may be visible to many people in that business." What this means is that if you interact with companies on WhatsApp, you cannot be sure how your data will be used and it can be shared with third party service providers. The privacy policy states that "a company can grant an external service provider access to its communications to send, store, read, manage or process them in any other way for the benefit of the company."

Other important things you should know

You have until February 8 to accept the new WhatsApp terms and conditions. A pop-up window will appear on your smartphone to report the changes. If you do not accept the changes, your account will be deleted but your data will not be deleted.

The Privacy Policy, like most of these documents, is full of technical and legal jargon. However, one thing is clear and that all the independence that WhatsApp could have is now gone. WhatsApp is really a Facebook product now, and the story of how social media treats user data is perhaps a concern for some. The creation of Facebook for WhatsApp has really happened.

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