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Facebook wants your WhatsApp data

WhatsApp

I am sure by now that many of you have already seen the pop-up message containing WhatsApp’s new terms of service. If you haven’t seen it yet here’s what it looks like:

So now that we are all caught up, how is Facebook coming for your WhatsApp data?

The privacy policy change that WhatsApp issued gives the user no option but to share your information with Facebook if you’d like to continue using the service. The next concerning thing is that there is an ultimatum that gives users until the 8th of February to comply.

“After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp,”

Now, if we circle back to 2016 something similar happened, but in that instance WhatsApp gave you option of opting out of sharing your data with Facebook.

However, the caveat was that you had to activate it within 30 days of signing up to the service. In a report by PC Mag, even if you did WhatsApp could still share your information with its parent company.

So what data is Facebook farming from WhatsApp?

“We share your information to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our services,”

WhatsApp

The data that Facebook is after includes your WhatsApp account, profile name, photo and the list of people you have been communicating with as well the financial transactions you’ve made over the app. Facebook wants this information in order to send you friend recommendations, personalised content like ads across its other platforms.

In the same report by PC Mag, Facebook said that the updated policy was mainly targeting business managing. This essentially means that there is really no change on the data shared with Facebook for you private chats.

What is concerning is that there is no opt-out option for this one. The option was there in 2016 but it looks like Facebook is angling for a more aggressive stance with its privacy policy.

Oh… and the elephant in the room

Facebook has been trying to bring it’s heavy hitters together under on umbrella. Not so long ago Instagram DMs and Facebook Messenger were able to communicate cross-platform. The last piece of the puzzle is WhatsApp and there have already been some signs that it may be drawing closer.

WhatsApp statuses, as I am sure you are aware, can be shared on Facebook. This is a superficial integration to the one that Facebook has in mind. At some point in time, we will be able to WhatsApp our Instagram and Facebook contacts on anyone of FB’s platforms. But it’s not going to be easy though, WhatsApp is built differently than the other two and a union on the level that we saw with Insta DMs and Messenger could be a long way off.

However (fastens tin foil hat firmly on) this new development could be one of many that could lead us to a Facebook Family of Apps Super Community.


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5 thoughts on “Facebook wants your WhatsApp data

  1. This is nothing new. People would gladly exchange their data or privacy for a chance to use apps like these. If you did a survey asking whether Zimbabweans, for example, read the Terms and conditions of apps they installed, you will find that only extremists like myself would be among the few who read the Ts and Cs, otherwise generally people don’t care if an app will mine their data, because at the end of the day its either you accept the Ts and Cs or you don’t use the app period there are no negotiations on that front.

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