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WhatsApp users to lose access to accounts unless they agree to share data with Facebook

By Mirror | Jan 8th 2021 | 3 min read
By Mirror | January 8th 2021

A man poses with a smartphone in front of displayed Whatsapp logo in this illustration September 14, 2017. [Dado Ruvic, Reuters]

Popular messaging app WhatsApp is changing its privacy policy and users' will lose access to their accounts if they do not agree by February 8.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which boasts two billion active users, is sending users a pop-up asking them to agree to share data with Facebook.

However, the pop-up message makes it clear that agreeing to this is compulsory if people want to keep using the free app - and you will lose access to your account if you do not agree after February 8.

Many users have seen the pop-up message and clicked the 'agree' button without reading the terms in the small print.

Whatsapp message

One of the messages which have been appearing on Android phones and iPhones look slightly different depending on what device you have but both contain the same message

A WhatsApp spokesperson told the Mirror: "As we’ve previously talked about, we’re updating our terms of service and privacy policy as we work to make WhatsApp a great way to get answers or help from a business.

"Privacy policy and terms updates are common in the industry and we’re providing users with ample notice to review the changes."

WhatsApp is part of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's social media empire, which also includes Instagram, and these changes are being made to help it integrate better with other services offered by the dominant force.

It is believed Zuckerberg is looking to take steps towards eventually integrating his three massive social media platforms into one.

WhatsApp users have been received pop-up messages over the past 24 hours.

They detail the changes and provide the user with the option of clicking on an 'agree' button or choosing the 'not now' button.

However, a closer look at the small print shows that February 8 is the cut-off point after which you will lose access to your account if you do not agree.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has opened up about how collects and handles users' data.

In a bid to become more transparent, it has published new sections on its website.

They include a section titled 'Transactions and Payments Data' and another detailing how it handles 'Location Information'.

The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken September 15, 2017. [Dado Ruvic/Illustration, Reuters]

Another carries a section 'What information does WhatsApp share with the Facebook Companies?'.

It reads: "WhatsApp currently shares certain categories of information with Facebook Companies.

"The information we share with the other Facebook Companies. includes your account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address, and may include other information identified in the Privacy Policy section entitled ‘Information We Collect’ or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent."

Another addition to the new updates policy hints that users may from time to time receive marketing material about Facebook Companies.

WhatsApp is an 'encrypted' app.

It's 'end-to-end encryption' is supposed to ensure only you and the person you're communicating with can read or listen to what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp, can read or listen to what you write.



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