WhatsApp Users Will Be Blocked If They Don’t Share Data with Facebook

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Messaging app WhatsApp has updated its privacy policy giving its 2 billion plus users an ultimatum to agree to share their personal data with the social network or delete their accounts.

Ars Technica reports that the requirement is being delivered through an in-app alert directing users to agree the new WhatsApp terms of service.  

The online website reports the move comes a month after Apple started requiring iOS app makers, including WhatsApp, to detail the information they collect from users

Those who don’t accept WhatsApp’s revamped privacy policy by February 8 will no longer be able to use the app. 

In 2016, WhatsApp gave users a one-time ability to opt out of having account data turned over to Facebook.

Some of the data that WhatsApp collects includes users phone numbers, contacts stored in address books, profile names, pictures, status messages, details of when a user was last online and diagnostic data collected from app logs. 

Under the new terms, Facebook reserves the right to share collected data with its family of companies.

A WhatsApp spokeswoman told Ars Technica the revamped privacy clause is is part of a previously disclosed move to allow businesses to store and manage WhatsApp chats using Facebook’s infrastructure. 

She said users won’t have to use WhatsApp to interact with the businesses and have the option of blocking the businesses adding that there will be no change in how WhatsApp shares provides data with Facebook for non-business chats and account data.

Ars Technica says people who object to the new terms and policy should consider using a different messenger which includes the Signal messenger which provides the same robust encryption engine with a much more transparent privacy policy and terms of service. 

Apple users also have the option of using iMessage, an instant messaging service developed by the company and launched in 2011.

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