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


“Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA.” This was part of WhatsApp privacy policy. Yes, it was a part of WhatsApp but not anymore. The Facebook-owned instant messaging platform is updating its privacy policy which could have a significant impact on users — if they are concerned about how their data is used. Here we tell you all that’s new about WhatsApp’s new privacy policy and why it matters:


What’s changed in the new privacy policy


For starters, WhatsApp remains end-to-end encrypted, which means your messages are safe. WhatsApp is bringing in three updates — how the app processes your data; how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats, and there will be more integration of Facebook’s other products with WhatsApp.


What data will WhatsApp ‘collect’


In terms of hardware data, here’s what, according to new privacy policy, WhatsApp will collect “battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or 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).” Nothing alarming as such but notably this point wasn’t a part of WhatsApp previous privacy policy.


What information will be shared with Facebook


Well, almost everything. WhatsApp’s privacy policy clearly states that your phone number, IP address, mobile device information will be shared with Facebook. “The information we share with the other
Facebook Companies. includes your account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our
Services, mobile device information, your IP address, and may include other information identified in the
Privacy Policy section entitled ‘Information We Collect’ or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent,” notes the privacy policy.

No banner ads on WhatsApp — only for the time being

WhatsApp has so far restrained from putting those annoying banner ads in the app and it says that it has “no intention to introduce them” either. However, it also says that “but if we ever do, we will update this Privacy Policy.” So you never know, those pesky ads might just pop up.


What data will WhatsApp store and where


WhatsApp new privacy policy says that even if you don’t use location-related features, it will collect ““IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (city, country).”

It’s also mentioned in the privacy policy that WhatsApp will use Facebook’s global data centres, including the ones in the US to store data. This wasn’t a part of WhatsApp’s previous privacy policy either


Deleting your WhatsApp account won’t ‘secure’ your data


If you delete your WhatsApp account directly from the app, it won’t mean that your data has also been deleted. “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,” states the policy. You will have to dig deeper to wipe off your data from WhatsApp if you want to delete your account.


Be careful while interacting with Businesses on WhatsApp


“When you message with a business on WhatsApp, keep in mind that the content you share may be visible to several people in that business,” states the policy. What this means is that if you interact with businesses on WhatsApp, you can’t be sure of how your data is being used and could be shared with third-party service providers. “A business may give such third-party service provider access to its communications to send, store, read, manage, or otherwise process them for the business,” notes the privacy policy.

Other important stuff to know


You have time till February 8 to accept WhatsApp new terms and conditions. A pop-up up will appear on your smartphone to inform about the changes. If you don’t accept the changes, then your account will be deleted but your data won’t be.

The privacy policy — like most such documents — are full of legalese and technical jargons. One thing, however, is clear that whatever little autonomy WhatsApp might have had, is now over. WhatsApp is truly a Facebook product now and the history of how the social media treats user data will perhaps be a cause of concern for some. The ‘Facebook-isation’ of WhatsApp has well and truly happened.





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