One cannot use WhatsApp if the data is not shared with Facebook

More than six years after WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook, the messaging app will finally implement one of the initial objectives of the acquisition: to share the data of WhatsApp users with Facebook. A series of changes in the terms of use and privacy policy will force users to share their data with Facebook in order to continue using the app. More or less, because this change does not apply to users from member states of the European Union.

As shown in XDA Developers, WhatsApp has started showing a warning message to users these days. It indicates important changes in the terms of use and privacy policy. These changes are essentially focused on allowing Facebook to share and use the data obtained from WhatsApp for the rest of its services and purposes.

The changes are made to take effect on February 8. According to the message after this date “you need to accept these changes to continue using WhatsApp”. In other words, if you do not accept the integration between WhatsApp and Facebook, you will simply not be able to use WhatsApp anymore.

This however should not take anyone by surprise, WhatsApp announced this change in July of last year and has in fact already been applying it. The difference is that it is now mandatory to share this data , whereas previously it was offered the possibility of not sharing it.

What data exactly? In general, the data associated with the WhatsApp account and the use made of the service. This includes name, phone number, mobile device used, transactions performed, locations, associated contacts, and more. With this, Facebook says to improve the services it offers, improve user safety and “display relevant offers and advertisements on Facebook Company Products” among other things.

An important point to note here is that Facebook has no option whatsoever to read what is being shared in the messages . That is, among all the data collected, there is no conversation and what is shared by messages with other users and groups. This is because it is simply technically impossible, WhatsApp works with end-to-end encryption, which prevents anyone from reading the messages beyond the sender and receiver since they are encrypted and only they have the key to decrypt them.

The shield of the European Union

Whatsapp and Facebook

All that said, things are somewhat different in the European Union. The GDPR data protection regulations prevent Facebook from sharing WhatsApp data with the rest of the company for the company’s own interest. The conditions of use of WhatsApp in the European Union indicate the following:

“Currently, Facebook does not use the information in your WhatsApp account to improve your experiences with Facebook products or provide you with more relevant ads on the platform. This is the result of discussions with the Irish Data Protection Commission and other European data protection authorities. “

This is because users from member countries of the European Union use the WhatsApp Ireland Limited app and not that of WhatsApp LLC. Essentially it means that it is a separate company that is governed by the rules of the European Union and therefore protects users by offering them the conditions and agreements that have been reached with the European Commission. This has been the case for the past five years, since the decision was announced in 2016.

Via | XDA Developers

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