After Facebook acquired WhatsApp in the year 2014, it was expected that at one point in time Facebook would integrate its services or the customer data with WhatsApp. WhatsApp since then has risen to 2 billion active users and now it has changed its terms and condition which is a mandate for users to accept if they want to continue using the App. During this time, Facebook brought business accounts and brands to the customers on WhatsApp to bring the e-commerce features to the app as well. Due to this WhatsApp was a popular app in itself and till now Facebook never tried to integrate the data or features in it.
However, with the changes in the terms and conditions, Facebook is finally trying to do things that they have been holding for a long time now. The company has updated privacy policies for WhatsApp which requires users to share the data with Facebook as well as its associated companies including Facebook payment, Onavo, and CrowdTangle. The user data that will be shared with Facebook is the Profile name, Picture, IP address, Phone number and contact list, app logs, and status messages.
As per the official statement from WhatsApp, “As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp receives information from and shares information (see here) with the other Facebook Companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products.”
The Co-Founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum said that “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible: You don’t have to give us your name and we don’t ask for your email address. We don’t know your birthday. We don’t know your home address. We don’t know where you work. We don’t know your likes, what you search for on the internet, or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change that.”