Published On: Mon, Sep 26th, 2016

WhatsApp removes option for sharing information with Facebook


WhatsApp has removed the option where you could opt out of their new info-sharing policy.

WhatsApp had earlier announced a 30-day period where users can opt out of the new WhatsApp-Facebook data sharing policy. The date has passed and WhatsApp has now removed the option where you could control your information being shared. The new policy was announced on August 25 and the last date to opt out was on September 25.

Yesterday was the last date for all those who wanted to opt out of the new privacy policy terms of service forced down by WhatsApp. The messaging service which was acquired back in 2014 by Facebook Inc, changed its terms of service which new reads that all your information will be shared and used by its parent company (Facebook) and all other companies in the said group. This was a huge issue since WhatsApp had initially announced (before the FB acquisition) that all information would be kept private and will not be shared by them to any other company, service or themselves.

Since WhatsApp announced the new policy terms that they will share all WhatsApp users’ data and information with its parent company, netizens and WhatsApp users took the service provider to court with regards to privacy issues. In the interest of a user’s privacy here in India, the Delhi High Court slammed WhatsApp, directing them not to make use of any data of any user stored before September 25. WhatsApp said that they support the decision and users can oblige and are free to not use the service if they find the new ToS a threat to their privacy.

Between August 25 and September 25, WhatsApp had placed an option in the Settings —> Accounts page on WhatsApp’s apps where users could opt out of the new policy if they were not comfortable sharing their data with Facebook. The option is removed and WhastApp users will now have no choice but to allow sharing their data with Facebook and its group of companies, or refrain away from using the service.

WhatsApp removes option for sharing information with Facebook

The option for opting out was given to users for a period of 30 days and now, by installing and using WhatsApp, you, by default, agree and give full permission to share your information with Facebook and its family of companies.

In short, if you are using WhatsApp, you should know that all your information that you share on the service will be served to Facebook Inc and its companies.

What will Facebook Inc do with your data?

Since your data is being shared with FB and its companies, you should definitely know where all your data is being shared with and what they are doing with your shared information.

A list of the Facebook companies where your data will be shared and used include Facebook Payments, Inc., Atlas, Instagram LLC, Onavo, Parse, Moves, Oculus, LiveRail, WhatsApp Inc. And Masquerade.

What information is being shared with FB and other companies?

WhatsApp plans to share some information with Facebook and the Facebook family of companies that will allow them to coordinate more, such as to fight spam and abuse, and improve experiences across our services and those of Facebook and the Facebook family. For example, once you have accepted the updated Terms and Privacy Policy, WhatsApp will share some of your account information with Facebook and the Facebook family of companies, like the phone number you verified when you registered with WhatsApp, as well as the last time you used the service.

Nothing you share on WhatsApp, including your messages, photos, and account information, will be shared onto Facebook or any of the Facebook family of apps for others to see. This means, for example, although some information will be shared with Facebook (such as your phone number), that information will not be seen by other people on Facebook. In addition, when you and your contacts use the latest version of our app, your messages are end-to-end encrypted by default. When your messages are end-to-end encrypted, only the people you are messaging with can read them – not WhatsApp, Facebook, or anyone else.

(Excerpts from the WhatsApp blog)

Why is your information being shared with Facebook and the Facebook family of companies?

WhatsApp being a part of the Facebook family of companies, sharing some information allows them, to coordinate more and improve experiences across their services and those of Facebook and the Facebook family.

For example, WhatsApp will be able to more accurately count unique users.  They can better fight spam and abuse. If you are a Facebook user, you might see better friend suggestions and more relevant ads on Facebook.

(Excerpts from the WhatsApp blog)

For more information about WhatsApp’s new Terms of Service, click here.

Courtesy: DC

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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