Posted January 8, 2021 1:28 pm by

WhatsApp has announced plans to update its privacy policy with the most notable change involving its interaction with parent company Facebook.

The update sparked criticism among users as they must accept the changes or see their access to the service – which also allows encrypted voice and video calls – cut off from Feb 8.

Facebook aims to monetize WhatsApp by allowing businesses to contact their clients via the platform, even sell them products directly using the service as they already do in India.

“Privacy policy and terms updates are common in the industry and we’re providing users with ample notice to review the changes, which go into effect on February 8th,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

“All users need to accept the new terms of service if they want to continue using WhatsApp,” added the spokesperson.

Whatsapp on Tuesday commenced sending in-app notifications to its users informing them about changes in its new terms of service and privacy policy.

“WhatsApp is updating its terms and privacy policy,” the in-app notification sent to Android and iOS users read.

The notification sent to both Android and iOS users is forcing them to agree to the messaging app’s new privacy rules or else lose access to it, which will lead to their accounts getting deleted.

Users can delay accepting the new changes till February 8, after which they will have to accept or lose access to the app.

WhatsApp further shared particulars on the extent of data collected automatically by the app.

“This also includes information about when you registered to use our Services; the features you use like our messaging, calling, Status, groups (including group name, group picture, group description), payments or business features; profile photo, “about” information; whether you are online when you last used our Services (your “last seen”); and when you last updated your “about” information,” WhatsApp added.

Prior to the latest update, existing users were provided with the option to choose not to have their WhatsApp account information shared with Facebook.

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