“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.
WhatsApp updated policy and terms of service policy needed users to allow sharing of their information within Facebook’s family of companies to facilitate, support, and integrate their activities and improve the messaging services. This sparked an outrage with many users threatening to uninstall WhatsApp and move to find services of other providers. Telegram and Signal were the beneficiaries of this outrage as there was a sudden increase in their user numbers with major endorsement from people such as Tesla founder, Elon Musk.
I found out that many users were concerned about this policy because they didn’t want WhatsApp to share their data with parent company, Facebook. Well, according to this article by Lily Hay Newman of American magazine, Wired, WhatsApp has in fact been sharing your data with Facebook since 2016 when it launched its major update in August that year.
The users who opt out of the policy at that time will continue to enjoy their privacy. But after that the billion-plus users WhatsApp has added since 2016, along with anyone who missed that opt-out window, have had their data shared with Facebook all this time. That suggests why each time you exchange contacts with someone, have a chat with them on WhatsApp, the next minute you will see their friend suggestion on your Facebook timeline.