Explained: Should you accept Whatsapp's New policies?

What are the Key changes is WhatsApp's privacy policy?

WhatsApp has updated its privacy policy and it will obviously cause more concern because it does bring deeper integration with Facebook, which is its parent company. 

We will take a look at what does this privacy policy mean, weather you have to accept it or not and what does it mean for your data on WhatsApp. 

So, Basically, WhatsApp's privacy policy has got an update and it is a cause of concern because it is used by over a billion people. But this is pretty standard practice, as far as most companies go, Almost all companies do update their privacy policies at some point or the other.

And in order to continue using that you have to accept them, It is not something radically different that WhatsApp is doing. It was you usually see when you are using any piece of software. 

Be it a messaging app or a photo editor or anything, And with regard to the major changes in privacy policy it is now reflecting the deeper integration that are there between WhatsApp and Facebook. which is also expected considering that whatsapp is part of the Facebook group and there would be more integrations between them. 

We have seen that Facebook has rolled out features such as rooms to WhatsApp itself, WhatsApp Pay, which brings more integration with other Facebook products.

So Privacy policy is going to reflect those data changes. its also been updated to show how businesses interact with you since business on WhatsApp has become another big aspect and we've seen that Facebook and WhatsApp are pushing for that.


How will WhatsApp use user data?

Nothing has essentially changed with WhatsApp. It still remains end-to-end encrypted and your messages are not really shared with Facebook, because it is an end-to-end encrypted platform so that part has not changed there is a lot of other kind of information sharing which is going to happen say when you make transactions on WhatsApp, when you shop on WhatsApp, when you interact with third-party integration on whatsapp, which might be using Facebook's products for making interactions better. 

So there will be data sharing around there. And the privacy policy has listed out a lot of these, which will include for instance, these is data sharing happening for integrating user security system around what kind of messages be considered spam. That kind of sharing is happening and it has been elaborated a lot more in the privacy policy now.

To say that data is suddenly a lot more vulnerable would not be entirely correct because the messages are still end-to-end encrypted.


What about payment data?

WhatsApp had launched payments in India last year, and they are launching in other countries as well with regards to payments, remember whenever you use to WhatsApp to make any kind of payments, data around that is also processed by WhatsApp, which could be payments information, transaction amount etc. 

Each country has its own privacy policy for payments and its best that users go through that before they start using WhatsApp Payments.


What sort of hardware information is WhatsApp collecting?

WhatsApp has also elaborated on the hardware information that it is collecting. Now it includes battery strength, signal strength, your ISP the device model No. , which country you are located in etc. all that kind of data is related to your device hardware. Your device identifier for advertising purposes, all of that is also being collected and this portion has significantly increased compared to what we saw in the previous version.

Is it mandatory to accept this policy?

Yes, as pointed before, we will have to accept this new terms of service and new privacy policy, In order to  continue using WhatsApp. Because that is the standard approach, companies do update their policies. And WhatsApp has given users till February 8,2021 to accept this new terms of services you would have seen that notice if you have logged in to WhatsApp.

Will user's Data remain stored despite deleting WhatsApp?

This is where the policy might cause some confusion but what it's really doing is clarifying a lot of things So if you just delete WhatsApp from your phone that doesn't mean that your WhatsApp account is deleted that data is still with WhatsApp because you haven't actually gone through settings and deleted your account.
In order to delete your account, you have to go into settings choose 'Delete my account ' option and then your data will be removed from WhatsApp. This includes your number, name, groups that you are part of etc. 
Do keep in mind that, even if you delete your WhatsApp account entirely, If you were part of other Groups, your chats with others those will not be deleted because other people are still using WhatsApp. that info is likely to remain.

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