WhatsApp has updated its privacy policy, and users have until February 8 to accept the new terms and conditions. The new policy says how user data is impacted when there is interaction with a business on the platform, and provides more details on integration with Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company.

Will WhatsApp share your messages with Facebook?

No. The privacy policy does not change the way WhatsApp treats personal chats. WhatsApp remains end-to-end encrypted — no third party can read them. In a statement, WhatsApp said: “The update does not change WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family… WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy.”

 

What data will WhatsApp share with Facebook?

Data exchange with Facebook is in fact, already taking place. While users in the European Union can opt out of data-sharing with Facebook, the rest of the world does not have the same choice.

 

Why does this data exchange with Facebook matter?

The policy gives reasons for the data-sharing with Facebook: from ensuring better security and fighting spam to improving user experience, which were there in the previous policy as well.

But the new policy is a further sign of WhatsApp’s deeper integration into the Facebook group of companies. CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2019 talked about his cross-platform vision across Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp — he called it “interoperability”.

Instagram’s Direct Messages and Facebook Messenger have already been integrated. Facebook wants to bring more services to WhatsApp, and has added a feature called Rooms. The integration has been taking place for a while now.

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