Reitumetse Makwea
Digital Intern
2 minute read
8 Jan 2021
2:34 pm

EXPLAINED: What the new WhatsApp update means for SA users

Reitumetse Makwea

Users must accept these new terms of service and privacy policy by 8 February or they will no longer be able to continue using the application.

Picture: Ashraf Hendricks

WhatsApp recently updated its terms of service and privacy policy to enforce the sharing of data from WhatsApp and Instagram to Facebook.

The notice on WhatsApp highlighted the following key updates to its terms and privacy policy:

  • WhatsApp’s service and it processes your data.
  • How businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats.
  • How WhatsApp partners with Facebook to offer integrations across Facebook’s product portfolio.

“As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from and shares information with, this family of 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, customise, support, and market our Services and their offerings,” WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy states.

Chief executive officer (CEO) of World Wide Worx – a technology market research company – Arthur Goldstuck said: “Facebook will be sharing information from WhatsApp and Instagram. Advertising and businesses will be able to target users according to the information users store on WhatsApp.”

Goldstuck explained that although there were still limitations on how much information the app could access, this setting would still result in Facebook exploiting its monopoly on messaging through social media and completely invading user privacy.

ALSO READ: What you need to know about WhatsApp security flaws

According to WhatsApp, this is some of the information they will be sharing:

  • Account information: User phone number, profile name and photo, online status and status message, last seen status, and receipts may be available to anyone who uses our Services, although you can configure your Services settings to manage certain information available to other users.
  • User contacts and others: Users with whom you communicate may store or reshare your information (including your phone number or messages) with others on and off our Services. You can use your Services settings and the block feature in our Services to manage the users of our Services with whom you communicate and certain information you share.
  • Third-party providers: We work with third-party providers to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services. When we share information with third-party providers, we require them to use your information in accordance with our instructions and terms or with express permission from you.
  • Third-party services: When you use third-party services that are integrated with our services, they may receive information about what you share with them. For example, if you use a data backup service integrated with our Services (such as iCloud or Google Drive), they will receive information about what you share with them. If you interact with a third-party service linked through our Services, you may be providing information directly to such third party. Please note that when you use third-party services, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services.

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