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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Explained: WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy

WhatsApp’s new policy changes are somewhat different from the previous application updates and privacy policy.

WhatsApp’s new policy changes with updates and privacy policy give more insight into how this popular messaging platform will handle the user’s data, but most important, going forward, how will it share with the parent company Facebook. Users have time until 8th February 2021 to accept these new policy changes in order to continue using the platform.

What are these changes and user guidelines?

Updates on security and service are not new on WhatsApp. Most social media platforms release their software service updates occasionally. It is a standard procedure that in order to continue using this platform the user needs to agree on the new service terms and conditions.

‘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,’ is one of the previous privacy policy versions. Whereas the new policy privacy doesn’t include those lines anymore. The end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp still stays, which means that your messages won’t be visible nor can be shared with anyone.

Some more changes with concern to other Facebook Company products:

“Third-party services or other Facebook Company Products that are integrated with our Services, those third-party services may receive information about what you or others share with them,” and this is what the users will rely on in WhatsApp’s new policy changes.

When users rely on this, the IP address information and the fact you are a WhatsApp user might be provided to the ‘third-party’ in question or to the other product of Facebook Company.

There is a clarification all the WhatsApp users need to look into: “third-party services or other Facebook Company Products, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services and products,” this is with the fact that WhatsApp now has integration with features like Rooms and Facebook, and there might be a need for this clarification for many years.

The company also explained how they work with Facebook and its group of other companies in great detail. The explanation includes information on “improving infrastructure and delivery systems, safety and security around Facebook products, service experiences such as making suggestions for users, personalized content around purchases and transactions.”

WhatsApp is a collection of hardware information, what kind?

According to WhatsApp’s new policy changes, it is collecting new information from your device (smartphones) like the ‘battery level, signal, browser information, network, application version, connecting information (which includes the phone number, mobile operator, ISP), language and time zone, IP address, device operations information, and identifiers (including identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account),’ whereas all of these weren’t mentioned in the previous policies.

What does it say about deleting a WhatsApp account?

If a person just deletes the WhatsApp Application from their smartphones without using the delete my account feature from the app itself, then the user’s information will remain stored, this means just deleting the application from your cell-phone isn’t enough. “When you delete your account, it does not affect your information related to the groups you created or the information other users have relating to you, such as their copy of the messages you sent them.”

What does this policy has to say about users who run a business?

WhatsApp’s new policy changes state that any business or businesses that users may interact with may provide the platform with information as well. The content shared with any business on WhatsApp will be visible to several people on that business, as further stated in the policy.

The policy also stated that “some businesses might be working with third-party service providers (which may include Facebook) to help manage their communications with their customers.”

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