Millions of WhatsApp Users will Lose Access to their Accounts on February 8 Unless they Agree to Share their Data with Facebook

With over two billion active users, WhatsApp is without a doubt one of the most popular apps around the world.

But some users have been left reeling by the latest change, which means they could lose access to their account unless they agree to share data with Facebook.

WhatsApp has announced that it’s making changes to its privacy policy from February 8, making it compulsory for users in all countries outside of Europe and the UK to share their data with WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook.

The change affects the way that WhatsApp processes data, and will apply regardless of whether or not they have a Facebook account.

The privacy policy explains: ‘As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, the other Facebook Companies.

‘We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products.’

WhatsApp has confirmed that WhatsApp users in the UK and Europe will not have their data shared with Facebook.

Speaking to MailOnline, a WhatsApp spokesperson said: ‘There are no changes to WhatsApp’s data sharing practices in the European region (including UK) arising from the updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. For the avoidance of any doubt, it is still the case that WhatsApp does not share European region WhatsApp user data with Facebook for the purpose of Facebook using this data to improve its products or advertisements.’

While WhatsApp will start sharing data with Facebook, it’s important to note that WhatsApp is encrypted by default, meaning Facebook will not be able to see the contents of your messages.

However, it will be able to see who you message, as well as how often you do it.

If you use WhatsApp you should have received a notification this week, explaining the changes.

The notification outlines the new privacy policy, and urges you to ‘Agree’ with the conditions.

It says: ‘By tapping AGREE, you accept the new terms and privacy policy, which take effect on February 8, 2021. After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp.’

If you use WhatsApp you should have received a notification this week, explaining the changes

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014, and has shared data with its parent company since 2016.

However, until now, users have been able to opt out.

Unsurprisingly, many WhatsApp users are absolutely furious about the change, with many taking to Twitter to vent their frustrations.

Unsurprisingly, many WhatsApp users are absolutely furious about the change, with many taking to Twitter to vent their frustrations
Several frustrated users have threatened to delete WhatsApp and switch to a different messaging app

One user wrote: ‘It’s telling me that i have to accept to share my data with facebook otherwise i cannot use whatsapp. Time to remove WhatsApp.’

Another added: ‘Ready to delete Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp… Ready to migrate to Telegram, Signal and all way Twitter.’

And one said: ‘Strongly recommend switching to a more ethical and privacy focussed app such as @signalapp or @telegram. Delete Whatsapp and delete Facebook.’

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Shivali Best

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