Facebook doesn’t want to explain WhatsApp’s privacy changes

Facebook does not intend to reverse WhatsApp’s privacy policy, despite the three-month postponement decreed by the instant messaging service. However, the social network still deigns to give explanations as to the need to modify the conditions of use of WhatsApp.

facebook whatsapp
Credits: Pixabay

This is one of the hot issues at the start of 2021. At the beginning of January, WhatsApp announced a major update to these terms of use. From now on, the instant messaging service will be able to share certain data with its parent company: Facebook. The icing on the cake is that it is impossible to refuse this new policy.

General outcry after this announcement, which has the effect of causing a massive exodus of users to the competition, and in particular the Signal application. In order to put an end to this wave of departures, WhatsApp has specified in detail the data that it will transfer to Facebook. In reality, it is only your dealings with companies.

In the process, WhatsApp postponed the entry into force of these new terms of use until May 15, 2021. Originally, data sharing with Facebook was to begin on February 8. In a blog post published on January 15, 2021, Facebook tried to reassure users by recalling that end-to-end encryption will not go away, and that the social network like WhatsApp will never have access to their conversations.

Why make this new policy mandatory?

However, user concerns do not revolve around encryption. If we trust the explanations of WhatsApp, this data sharing only concerns exchanges with companies. Still very few users make their purchases on WhatsApp. In fact and as our colleagues from the Android Authority site rightly point out, why force all WhatsApp users to share data from a service they may never use?

According to Android Authority, here is what Facebook collects from exchanges between you and a business on WhatsApp:

  • telephone number
  • your device ID
  • GPS data
  • transaction data
  • interaction with the product
  • user identifiers

Logically, it is assumed that this information will be used to improve Facebook ad targeting, in particular by optimizing advertisements according to the products that interest you, according to your geographical position, etc. Thanks to these new terms of use on WhatsApp, Facebook offers itself an additional source of data.

Another essential point, Facebook can also recover your phone number. This is crucial data to link your WhatsApp account to Facebook and Instagram. As a reminder, Facebook had undertaken not to recover the telephone numbers of users when WhatsApp was bought out in 2014. After a long investigation, the European Commission found that Facebook had lied on the subject. The social network was then forced to pay a fine of 110 million euros.

Source : Android Authority & Facebook




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