WhatsApp Updates Privacy Policy

WhatsApp, one of the most prominent communicating applications of this generation was acquired by Facebook in the year 2014. After the acquisition, users of WhatsApp worried that the application won’t be able to maintain its high privacy standards. Co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum tried to dispel these worries by writing a blog post which stated that respect for the user’s privacy is encoded in their DNA and the application was built to acquire as little knowledge about the users as possible. However, today, the company eased some of their own restrictions by announcing that they will be sharing a limited amount of user data with its parent company, Facebook.

Elaborating this move, WhatsApp stated that sharing of this information would allow Facebook to offer targeted friend suggestions by mapping the user’s connections across the two platforms. This move is also anticipated to aid Facebook in providing better and more relevant ads. Furthermore analytics data from the communication app, WhatsApp will also be provided to Facebook to help them in tracking usage metrics while also combating spam.

WhatsApp states that the company wants to explore how different corporations can use the application to contact their consumers. In order to better highlight the potential usage of this application, the company gave a few examples such as a banking firm warning their consumers about a potentially fraudulent transaction, or airline companies warning their consumers about any flight delays. The company states that in order to adequately test these features, it needs to update its privacy policy. Facebook was already going down this avenue with its Messenger application and now it seems that WhatsApp is following suit. The company has stated that customers would be allowed to manage these communications and it would not lead to any third-party ad banners on the application.

WhatsApp users are likely to get annoyed as the company has agreed to share information with Facebook. This is because the company’s popularity stemmed from the application providing unobtrusive services. In order to curb this criticism the company issued a statement which stated that even though a limited amount of user data will be shared, however, the company will still follow its policy of providing end-to-end encryption keeping the user messages private. Further, the company promised that the user’s WhatsApp number would not be shared with any advertisers or on Facebook.