Here’s what users need to keep in mind.
Why do I need to accept this policy?
What are the important policy changes?
WhatsApp explains that when a user relies on this, information such as IP address and the fact that you are a WhatsApp user, may be provided to the third-party in question or to another Facebook company product.
Remember when you use Google Drive or iCloud to backup your chats, these services are in effect getting access to your messages. Technically nothing has changed, except that WhatsApp is elaborating further what it means for data sharing when users rely on these third-party integrations.
It also clarifies that when someone is using “third-party services or other Facebook Company Products, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services and products.” Given that WhatsApp has integration now with features like Rooms on Facebook, this clarification might be needed for many users.
WhatsApp has also explained in great detail how they work with Facebook and its group of companies, including the kind of information which is exchanged. This includes information around “improving infrastructure and delivery systems,” safety and security around Facebook products, service experiences such as making suggestions for users, personalised content around purchases and transactions.
Finally it also mentions that the information exchange will include to improve “relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products.”
Some examples given of WhatsApp-Facebook integration are the ability to pay for products on WhatsApp using Facebook Pay, which is available in the US.
What sort of hardware information is WhatsApp collecting?
WhatsApp says it is collecting new information around from your device such as “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).” These were not mentioned in the previous policy.
There are also updates on deleting a WhatsApp account. What does it say?
What about data location and storage?
WhatsApp’s new policy states that even if a user does not use their location-relation features, they collect “IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (city, country).”
WhatsApp says that any businesses that users interact with may provide the platform with information as well. The policy further explains content shared with a business on WhatsApp will be visible to “several people in that business.”
It also states that some “businesses might be working with third-party service providers (which may include Facebook) to help manage their communications with their customers.”
What about payments data?