Remember before Facebook got its grubby hands on WhatsApp for $19 billion and users had to pay a life-altering $0.99 every year for the privilege of using the messaging app? Well, the price for having free access to WhatsApp has finally been revealed and it’s you, or rather your personal info which you now need to share with Facebook and associated companies.
It’s a move that cynics have forecasted ever since Facebook bought WhatsApp despite the company promising that it wouldn’t collect or store any of your data. The resignation of the app’s founders last year provided some credence to the theory that Facebook wanted its paws on our personal data.
Users have been getting pop-up advisories when opening up WhatsApp that unless they agree to the new terms and conditions, their access to the messaging service will be terminated on February 8th.
When you check the terms and conditions, this is the crux of the matter:
“As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, the other Facebook Companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products.“
What sort of data is being shared?
- Profile name
- Profile picture
- IP address
- Status messages
- Phone number
- Contacts list
- App longs
As you can see from the list above, it’s not just your data being shared, Zuck & co will also get their hands on your contacts, some of which may not even have a Facebook account and some of your contacts could be minors.
Facebook has made accepting the terms a simple yes or no decision. Choose Yes if you are happy to share your data (and your contacts) with the Facebook organization as a whole, or No, and switch over to another messaging app such as Signal, Telegram, or even BBM.
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