If you do not agree to data sharing, cannot use WhatsApp

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The thing is clear: Either you accept the new terms, or you will not be able to use WhatsApp. This is not a choice, it is simply a very clear lack of options, an imposition, an obligation clearly. In 2016, Facebook changed the Terms and Services of WhatsApp -which it acquired in 2014-, and apart from causing a wave of criticism against it, it did not leave any more room for maneuver for the user.

New terms of Service in WhatsApp

5 years later, and just at the beginning of the new year, Facebook presents us with the same decision, which in reality only leaves us one way out. The social network has announced changes to its Conditions and Privacy policy that users must accept in order to continue using the messaging service. And there is also a deadline: February 8.

But what changes are those? Well, nothing less than a modification in its Conditions and Privacy policy that implies the sharing of data with Facebook. In other words: if you do not accept that your WhatsApp data is shared with the Facebook social network, you will not be able to continue using WhatsApp.

These changes refer to the data that WhatsApp collects from users and their treatment. Also to the way that businesses can use Facebook to host their services and manage their conversations on WhatsApp. According to the notice that you should have already skipped on WhatsApp, the app collects information from users “to operate, provide, improve, understand, personalize, support and promote” its services.

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The data that WhatsApp collects from you

What data does WhatsApp collect from you when using its app exactly, and therefore what data you could share with Facebook if you accept the new conditions ?:

Phone number to create the account
Basic profile information
Device location (if the user wants to share it with their contacts)
Messages (temporarily and encrypted if these have not been delivered or are part of a multimedia file forwarding)
Contacts agenda
Shared states
Payment data
Automatically, WhatsApp also collects information about user activity in the application (settings, interaction, frequency), service diagnostics, or device and connection (model, operating system, battery charge level, time zone , IP adress). It also installs ‘cookies’ “to operate and provide services, in addition to providing Internet-based services, improving experiences, understanding how services are used, and personalizing them.

And even information from third parties, from other users with whom the user contacts or who have the user’s phone number on their agenda, from reports of alleged infractions, from the companies with whom the user interacts in the app or from service providers.

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