WhatsApp Threatens to Close your Account if you Refuse to Share Data with Facebook

Last Updated: January 20, 2021

whatsapp share data with facebook WhatsApp Threatens to Close your Account if you Refuse to Share Data with Facebook

WhatsApp has updated its privacy policy as brutally as expected. As of February 8, users who refuse to have their data shared with Facebook will no longer be able to access their account.

New terms that ultimately follow on from those announced last summer, but still left the option for users of the app to decline to share information. Refusal is no longer an option.

The goal: to further unify the Facebook ecosystem

Some users are starting to receive a WhatsApp notification asking them to accept the new terms of service for the service. Conditions for the most part related to the use that is made of their personal data and which they have no other choice but to accept on pain of not being able to use the WhatsApp system as of February 8.

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By accepting this change, users agree to share their data not only with WhatsApp, but also with Facebook.

A set of data which, according to Facebook, will be used to “improve their services“, to “give you better personalized suggestions“, and of course to “show more relevant advertising on all Facebook Company products“. In other words: our information coming from WhatsApp can be thrown into the same cauldron as that coming from our Facebook and Instagram accounts in order to further profile our usage patterns and our tastes.

WhatsApp: encrypted messaging, yes but …

While WhatsApp is still paradoxically among the most secure messaging apps by virtue of its systematic end-to-end encryption, it is becoming increasingly evident that there will not be much private on WhatsApp after February 8. Of course, your messages and their content are still protected by encryption, but Facebook shows here that it is the metadata that matters. Not what you can tell your contacts.

This update to the WhatsApp Terms of Service is timely, as it comes into effect shortly after Apple implemented a new app privacy policy on its App Store. It is therefore particularly startling to see WhatsApp’s appetite for data compared to a Telegram or, better, a Signal which collects absolutely nothing from its users.

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