Did You Know That WhatsApp Has Been Sharing Your Data With Facebook for Years?

Did You Know That WhatsApp Has Been Sharing Your Data With Facebook for Years?

Posted on Jan 12, 2021

When Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, users were worried about the extent to which data could be exchanged between the two platforms. The eyes of most of them are now open again in 2021 when a new notification came out, informing them about the new privacy policy. But did you know that from February 8, 2021, the data of WhatsApp users will not be shared with Facebook, but this has been happening for many years, i.e., 2016, and now more companies have raised the awareness of users about it...

As you may be aware, WhatsApp sent a notification to update the new privacy policy in users' accounts from the beginning of January, the main purpose of which is to expand the way WhatsApp Business users store their chats. This pop-up notification informs users that the app's privacy policy will change from February 8 and users must accept it in order to continue using the application. In fact, WhatsApp is just blocking the way that prevents Facebook from sharing certain data.

Some media companies and confused WhatsApp users feel that WhatsApp has now crossed the threshold in which data must be shared with Facebook. But in reality, the company is only reflecting the privacy policy of how WhatsApp has been sharing data of most of its users with Facebook since 2016. In August 2016, WhatsApp updated its privacy policy and began sharing user information with Facebook.

At that time, the number of WhatsApp users was one billion and they were given the option for 30 days to prevent their data from being shared to some extent. Within a month, the data of those who opted for this option could not be shared to any extent with Facebook, this feature is no longer available in the app settings, but you can find out about it from the request account info. However, since then, user data has been shared with Facebook.

WhatsApp has emphasized that changes to the new policy will not affect WhatsApp's current practices or attitudes towards data sharing with Facebook. WhatsApp wrote on its site: 'Our updated privacy policy provides more details on how we process data and expresses our commitment to privacy, as part of Facebook's WhatsApp Facebook Provides users with the Facebook Family of Apps and Products experiences with its partners.

The new privacy policy will not affect WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption, meaning messages, photos and other content sent to WhatsApp will only be visible to you and the devices that receive them. WhatsApp and Facebook can't access these chats or contacts, but that doesn't mean WhatsApp lacks user data, but it does know a lot about you.

According to the company, it collects customer details to provide better services to customers. WhatsApp is still sharing account information with Facebook, such as phone numbers, how long the app has been used, and how often. Other details such as IP address, operating system, browser details, battery health information, app version, mobile network, language, and time zone are also shared with Facebook.

As far as the collection of transaction and payment data, cookies, and location information are concerned, this information is already given to the WhatsApp users who go to Facebook. According to experts, WhatsApp best protects the privacy of users when it comes to message content, but it seems that privacy is not important in the eyes of the company.

Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 and said at the time that WhatsApp and Messenger would act as standalone apps. The gradual integration of WhatsApp into Facebook services has been controversial within the company, with WhatsApp founders Brian Acton and John Kom bidding farewell to the company in 2017 and 2018. A few months later, Brian Acton joined the team that founded another messaging app, Signal.

The company maintained the open-source protocol of the signal after it was developed and it also has end-to-end encryption like WhatsApp. The new policy will not change the behavior of the messaging service, but it is important because consumers will know that the company has provided opt-out options for so many years, which will no longer be the case. At the moment, users are reacting strongly to data sharing and are afraid of what is still happening to them, just because they don't know it.


Hamza Sarfraz

Blog Author

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