So, err, what exactly are WhatsApp's new privacy policies then?

Jennifer Savin
·2-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

If you're a regular user of the messaging app WhatsApp, you'll likely have encountered a pop up message recently saying that they've updated their privacy policies. Now, hands up if you just clicked 'accept' without bothering to read the small print? (No judgement here, because, umm, same) But perhaps you're now wondering what it is you've actually agreed to? Fear not – read on, dear friends.

In the pop-up message users were told they have until 8 February to familiarise themselves with the updated privacy terms and conditions, and that failure to comply with them would lead to WhatsApp deactivating your account (Gulp! But where will all the memes live?). In a nutshell, these new changes seem to focus on further integrating the app's 2 billion users with products from the Facebook family (Facebook have owned WhatsApp since 2014), to allow businesses better interaction on the platform and to collect financial data from users.

Speaking in layman's terms, while it may sound like big changes are incoming, it actually appears to mostly just be a reshuffle of some policies already in place with a bigger emphasis on using Facebook-affiliated payment methods on WhatsApp Business.

Photo credit: A - Getty Images
Photo credit: A - Getty Images

WhatsApp's website has been updated too, and now features a section that aims to answer questions surrounding 'What information does WhatsApp share with the Facebook Companies?'.

Within this section it says: "WhatsApp currently shares certain categories of information with Facebook Companies. 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."

These updated policies also suggest receiving marketing material in future about Facebook Companies is potentially on the cards.

Changes have also been made regarding WhatsApp Business, a branch off of the original messaging app, created with small business owners in mind (it now has an estimated 50 million users). This is where the focus on using Facebook-approved payment methods comes into play.

You can read WhatsApp‘s updated privacy policy in full here.

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