The new policy update, by talking about data sharing with Facebook but without giving the details users need, has also given rise to a lot of false information. WhatsApp itself is the main vector for disseminating most of these falsehoods.
WhatsApp says personal messages are also protected by end-to-end encryption, but it has for years openly collected certain user data to share with Facebook., another secure messaging app, on Tuesday said it surpassed 500 million active users. It noted that in just the last 72 hours, it gained more than 25 million new global users.
Additionally, for users who interact with Facebook’s Shops commerce feature via WhatsApp, their shopping activity can be used to display related ads on Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp says this feature is optional and that when you use it, “The developer team will tell you in the app how your data is being shared with Facebook.”
Does WhatsApp now share my messages with Facebook?
Answer: No. The new policy does not change how WhatsApp deals with personal chats, which will continue to remain end-to-end encrypted. This means no third-party can still read these chats. “This software does not retain your messages in the ordinary course of providing our Services to you. Instead, your messages are stored on your device and not typically stored on our servers. Once your messages are delivered, they are deleted from our servers,” adds the WhatsApp policy.
Does WhatsApp share my location with Facebook?
Answer: Only approximate location information. The locations of WhatsApp users are again, protected between the sender and the receiver. So, if you share your live location with a friend, that information is not transmitted to Facebook. However, WhatsApp does gather approximate location data which is given away by your phone number and IP address. Note that this is something the app can share with Facebook.
Does WhatsApp now own the content, media files that I’ve shared on the app?
Answer: No. The content you share with your friends, family, and colleagues over WhatsApp in the form of pictures, videos, and audio files are a part of your chat history and remain end-to-end encrypted, just like your text messages.
While sending the same, WhatsApp only stores the media temporarily. Once the image/video/audio file has reached the receiver, it should remain only on the two devices and not on WhatsApp’s servers. ”When a user forwards media within a message, this app store that media temporarily in encrypted form on our servers to aid in the more efficient delivery of additional forwards,” states the new policy.
Will WhatsApp show ads?
Will WhatsApp record and track my audio/video calls?
Answer: No. WhatsApp doesn’t record or listen to audio and video calls made via the platform. The data of these voice and video calls remain end-to-end encrypted, just like text messages and media. This means that the calls stay between the parties involved in the call and nobody else, including WhatsApp.
WhatsApp’s big problem right now is the lack of trust with its parent company Facebook, which does not have a stellar record when it comes to privacy practices. WhatsApp users concerned about their privacy may still be driven away by the fact that the app has now mandated the acceptance of the new privacy terms. It is only in the European Union that WhatsApp is legally bound to not share its data with Facebook.
Final things shows that “the data privacy is now top-of-mind for the general public,” said Schless. Looking forward to 2021, increased awareness around data privacy will drive changes in how consumers and organizations alike think about data sharing within mobile apps.