WhatsApp so far has been collecting user data, including phone numbers, contacts, profile names, and profile pictures along with status messages and diagnostic data from app logs.

WhatsApp has recently announced that it is gearing up to bring new changes in its privacy policies along with terms and conditions. These changes would affect the data processing system of WhatsApp, while it will also extend some services to Facebook-related business platforms. In its new notice that appeared a few hours ago, WhatsApp revealed that it is soon going to start sharing its user’s chat related data with Facebook.

The messaging platform has made it quite clear that these modifications in its policies will be going to take effect from February 8 onwards and that users will not going to have any other option available but to accept these policy changes if they want to continue using WhatsApp.

Users left with no option:

WhatsApp has earlier given its users the option of not sharing their data and information with Facebook but with the latest update, WhatsApp has removed this option and will now share the data permanently with its parent company Facebook. The data will also be available to all the Facebook-owned companies.

WhatsApp has been so far collecting various types of user data including user’s phone numbers, contact details, profile names, and profile pictures along with status messages and diagnostic data from app logs. Hence, WhatsApp will now be able to share all this data with Facebook-owned companies.

Facebook has gone onto claim that all this information will be shared for helping in customisation, operating, and improving the market and services related to the content provided by these companies. Even on Apple-owned devices, WhatsApp stores the data related to purchases, financial information, location, contact, user content, diagnostics, and usage data.

WhatsApp’s decision of bringing such massive changes in its privacy policy has raised questions regarding its transparency and the motive behind the sharing of user data with Facebook-owned companies. This has also rowed a controversy as WhatsApp has asked its users to either accept such decisions or leave the usage of its messenger platform.

Moreover, on using Facebook-related payment services, the company does collect extra data pertaining to account information, payment details, and transaction. As far as storage of messages is concerned, WhatsApp stores messages for a period of 30 days, and if the messages remain undelivered, it gets deleted. Further, Facebook owns various companies such as Instagram, Facebook payments, Onava, and CrowdTangle along with a slew of other tech companies.

What if the user deletes the application?

As far as deletion of the app is concerned, WhatsApp has reiterated that deleting the application from the user’s phone will delete the user’s information from its database and that the users will also require to delete their account information through the in-built delete option available in the application.

Along with these changes, WhatsApp has also mentioned for the first time about its data centre in the United States and that how it will transfer the data to some of its data-centres in the United States or other parts of the world having its own affiliated data centres. Other than that, WhatsApp also collects general information pertaining to IP address, location, local area, city, and country even if users do not enable location features.