“This update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data,” the Facebook-owned messaging app said.
We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encry… https://t.co/DtnNGMEOz8
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) 1610423395000
What data is not shared with Facebook
- WhatsApp/Facebook cannot see the user’s private messages, group messages, or hear calls with their friends, family, and co-workers, since it is protected by end-to-end encryption.
- It doesn’t keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling.
- It can’t see locations users share with others.
- The app doesn’t share the user’s contact lists with Facebook’s family of apps.
- It doesn’t share group data with Facebook for ads purposes.
Apart from this, one can also set their messages to disappear after seven days as well as download their user data to see what information WhatsApp has on them, from within the app.
What data will WhatsApp share to Facebook
- WhatsApp said it will share data related to how one interacts with a business on its app and these conversations will be clearly labelled. It will soon provide businesses with an option to use Facebook’s hosting infrastructure to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions and send information like purchase receipts. Businesses may use this information for its own marketing purposes, which may include advertising on Facebook, the company said.
- If a user shops from a business from within the app, using Facebook-branded commerce features, their shopping activity will be used to personalize their commerce experience and the ads they see on Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp, however, noted these features will be optional and users will be informed how their data is being shared with Facebook within the app.
- Facebook allows businesses to create ads that will enable users to message them on WhatsApp. The company said it may use the way users interact with them to personalize ads they see on Facebook.
This had raised hackles among privacy experts, antitrust and cybersecurity advocates, who have long warned against data pooling among big technology firms.
On Monday, ET reported that several Indian and multinational companies
had started issuing advisories to staff, asking them to avoid sharing sensitive company information on WhatsApp and stop using the platform for critical business calls.
Some of India’s top entrepreneurs are
also joining a chorus of technology industry leaders in Silicon Valley, pushing for users to quit WhatsApp and join Signal, a messaging service backed by WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton.
The privacy-focused messaging app
said this led to a “giant spike” in its app installs. Signal saw 2,200 installs on India’s app stores last Wednesday, up 38% from 1,600 installs in the week ended December 30, according to mobile intelligence firm Sensor Tower. Signal saw about 51,000 installs in December, up 11% from 46,000 in November.
also resolved an issue wherein some of its private groups and user profiles were accessible on Google Search earlier this week.