LAST UPDATED: Jan. 7, 2021, 2:57 p.m.
New Delhi (Anish Yande): WhatsApp declared new policies this week, which grants the messaging service the ability to share certain data with Facebook.
Users would be required to consent whether they agree with WhatsApp sharing mobile device information, connectivity information, and location information to Facebook. The new policy would take effect from February 8.
What Information would WhatsApp collect:
WhatsApp would be updating its data collection practices under categories of Device And Connection Information, Location Information, Usage And Log Information, and Cookies.
The messaging service would monitor how users interact with other users while using their services and the duration and frequency of their interactions with other users.
WhatsApp has said that under the new policy, they would be collecting information about diagnostic, service-related, and information about performance.
The messaging service would monitor crash logs, website logs, and diagnostic reports of the user’s device. The data related to calling, groups of the user which includes group picture, description, and name and the online status, would be recorded and shared with Facebook.
The messaging service would collect information related to when the user installed, accessed, and used the services. WhatsApp would monitor the app version, browser information, connection information, operating system information, battery level, signal strength, the mobile network of the user’s device.
WhatsApp would also collect network information of the user device such as mobile operator or IP address and time zones. The messaging service has clarified that data of personal messages between users would not be shared.
Cybersecurity experts raise alarm over WhatsApp’s privacy policies:
The users which use the messaging service for their businesses are also required to consent whether they accept the data being collected and shared by WhatsApp.
WhatsApp has said that the data would be shared with Facebook to improve user personalization and relevant advertisements. The users would avail of services provided across Facebook and WhatsApp, such as WhatsApp Pay, after approving the updated user policy.
Meanwhile, several cybersecurity experts have called for data privacy laws to restrict data collection by platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Experts have stated that these changes by WhatsApp are attempts by Facebook to monetize increasing amounts of user data.
Image Credit: Google