I was tempted to write about this because every day I see misinformation spreading on social media. So here’s a little question and answer compilation on the most common questions people seem to have.
Facebook, the parent company of WhatsApp has announced this updated policy will be effective from 8th February 2021.
Does this give WhatsApp permission to read my messages?
Will my location be shared with Facebook when I share my location on WhatsApp?
That is also a big no. No location data will be shared with Facebook. As I mentioned above, all chats are encrypted. When you share your location with your friends and family, that also is encrypted.
Can Facebook know who I call on WhatsApp?
No, they cannot. They have specifically mentioned they do not store these data of their 2 billion customers. However, it is worth noting that internet service providers are known to keep logs on user activity.
What is with merchants in this update?
That is, you can connect with merchants through WhatsApp. Sellers of various goods can register as businesses on WhatsApp to connect with customers. When you contact them or browse the items they offer on WhatsApp, that information will be collected by Facebook.
Do not get this wrong here. No messages will be collected. Just the fact that you browsed and contacted a specific merchant.
You can read the official FAQ provided by WhatsApp here.
I hope I shed some light on this policy mystery. I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments.