Give Facebook Access to Your Data or Get Out — WhatsApp

You’ve probably been faced with a pop-up when trying to access WhatsApp, a message giving you a notice of privacy policy changes that are set to take effect come February 8, 2021.

If you’re most people, you probably hit ‘Agree‘ and proceeded to your chats or viewing your friends’ WhatsApp statuses. But what was that? Well, WhatsApp was essentially asking you to give Facebook access to your data or bounce!

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Facebook wants your whatsapp data

The “key updates,” as the company calls its summarised version of these changes involves how it processes user data. These include “how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats,” and “how we partner with Facebook to offer integrations across the Facebook Company Products.”

In the updated terms and privacy policy document, the popular Facebook-owned instant messaging platform clarifies that;

“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.”

As expected, this applies to users across various regions in the world except for countries and territories in Europe that are part of the European Economic Area (EEA),  which is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Facebook’s ‘masterplan’ is to consolidate the platforms it now owns, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger to then provide a more coherent experience to users across these services and platforms.

If you’re not paying for the product, then YOU are the product. In this connected age where user data is the real currency, it only makes sense that Facebook wants to make money from WhatsApp, a cash cow it acquired back in 2014 for a fortune.

It remains unclear what will happen to users who won’t have agreed to these terms come February 8. While some believe that WhatsApp will delete such users’ accounts, it is unlikely to be the case as Facebook is a huge fan of numbers.

Facebook is counting on the fact that WhatsApp is very popular and has grown to be such an indispensable platform for millions across the globe to arm-twist users into conforming to its ‘selfish’ motives. This move might pay off in the shortrun but remember, services such as Telegram are a little more privacy-oriented, are always available for users who aren’t willing to play ball in Facebook’s game.

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