WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messenger that claims to have privacy coded into its DNA, is giving its 2 billion-plus users an open-letter: agree to share their private data with the social network or deactivate their accounts.
“By tapping Agree, you accept the new terms, which take effect on February 8, 2021,” the notification states.“Following this date, you’ll need to accept the new terms to continue using WhatsApp. You can also visit the Help Center if you would prefer to delete your account.”
Additional data set to be given to WhatsApp’s parent company bears “battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP), language and time zone, IP address, device operations information, and identifiers (including identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).”
The new terms and conditions also indicate that simply deleting the app will not prevent WhatsApp from retaining a user’s private data. To ensure the service no longer continues to do this, users must alternately use the in-app feature for deleting their account.
The policy notes that even after using this delete feature, some data will remain with the company, stating: “When you delete your account, it does not affect your information related to the groups you created or the information other users have relating to you, such as their copy of the messages you sent them.”
The move comes a month after Apple started requiring iOS app makers, including WhatsApp, to detail the information they collect from users. According to the App Store, WhatsApp reserves the right to collect: purchases, financial information, location, contacts, user content, identifiers, usage data and diagnostics.
WhatsApp is forcing users to share personal data with Facebook, and Elon Musk is urging people to switch to Signal, a smaller encrypted messaging app https://t.co/jlpZYxcqqq
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) January 7, 2021