If you are a WhatsApp user, you probably saw a popup during the past few days asking you to accept its new terms of service. Although inconspicuous at first glance, the fine print specifies that you have to accept them by February 8th lest you lose access to your account.
Okay, you accept, surely it’s not much different from previous updates right? Not really. The update includes a section that, under the guise of ‘app integration’, allows the platform to share large amounts of your personal data to Facebook.
Android Police specifies that basically Facebook will have access to:
Your account details, any metadata associated with your chats, your financial transactions (over WhatsApp Pay), and even some information that the app automatically collects, like your log reports, device and network details, and your location (approximate, even if you haven’t consented location sharing).
Your chats and calls will still remain end-to-end encrypted, so Facebook won’t be reading your darkest secrets—at least officially.
This update has not gone unnoticed, and as users draw the line with these privacy practices, many alternative platforms are surging in popularity. In the few days after the update was announced, Signal saw 7.5 million and Telegram 5.6 million new global installs.
Learn more here.