the updates includes the sharing of WhatsApp user data with Facebook.
An in-app notice is being sent out to users from WhatsApp, informing
three main updates, regarding how WhatsApp processes user data, how businesses
can use Facebook-hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats, and
how WhatsApp plans to partner with Facebook to offer integrations across Facebook’s
The changes, according to WhatsApp, will come into effect on February 8, 2021 and users will be required to accept them in order to continue using the app. In contrast to this, as per the previous update that was released in July 2020, users had the option to withhold their WhatsApp account information from being shared with Facebook.
The WhatsApp user data that will be shared with Facebook
will include users’ account registration and phone number, transaction data,
service-related information, interaction information, mobile device
information, and IP address. It will also include other information identified
or obtained upon notice to users or based on their consent.
WhatsApp’s policy also states the purpose behind data
sharing, explaining that the shared data will be used for understanding how services
are used, improving services, making suggestions for users, personalizing
features and content, and showing relevant offers and ads across the Facebook
As the update indicates, the changes will help WhatsApp to
integrate more closely into Facebook's family of products. This will help enhance
users’ experience across services, while also helping Facebook to achieve
its bigger goals. However, this high-level data sharing is likely to raise
concerns regarding privacy among users.