WhatsApp Privacy: Facebook throws water on the fire

Facebook denies the fears of WhatsApp users: the new privacy policy only concerns WhatsApp Business and complies with European regulations.

For WhatsApp privacy no changes in sight. To confirm the absence of changes to the way of sharing data of WhatsApp users in Europe, where the Gdpr is in force, is just a company note released following the recent notice on the update of the terms of service.

The confirmation, related to the treatment of information of users of the famous messaging app, came after the update of the WhatsApp privacy policy that users, even in Italy, are viewing within the app. According to some, in fact, to push WhatsApp to update the terms would have been the desire to make even more nourished the amount of personal data transferred from the application to Facebook, a company from which it was acquired in 2014, in order to a greater economic return related to advertisements conveyed through the service. Such suspicions, however, have been strongly rejected to the sender by WhatsApp that, through a spokesperson, has confirmed how the company does not share user data in the European area and in the United Kingdom in line with the regulations in force.

Privacy WhatsApp, who concern the changes

As specified by WhatsApp, the only changes envisaged by the changes in the terms and privacy policy, effective from February 8, 2021, will be exclusively WhatsApp Business chats, a service dedicated mainly to businesses. Through the update, the company has chosen to make its users aware of the way in which their data is processed, in order to make the entire process more crystal clear.

Privacy WhatsApp, reassurances on the use of information

After the release, even Niamh Sweeny, Director of Policy for Whatsapp, EMEA, wanted to clarify the situation. Through Twitter, he chose to reiterate the company's position and explained in detail the reasons behind the notification received by users in recent hours.

"It has been erroneously reported - wrote Sweeny on his Twitter account - that the latest update to WhatsApp's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy requires users in the European Region to accept data sharing with Facebook for advertising purposes in order to continue using the service. This is false. There are no changes to WhatsApp's data sharing practices in Europe resulting from this update. The fact remains that WhatsApp does not share WhatsApp user data from the European region with Facebook, which uses this data to improve its products or ads."

"The latest update to our Privacy Policy is about providing clearer and more detailed information to our users about how and why we use data," Sweeny added, providing a link to the relevant FAQ on the official website. "It's also about improving the way businesses use WhatsApp to connect with customers. The updated policy provides information on how businesses that use WhatsApp's API to talk to customers can now do so using a service provided by Facebook to help them manage chats with customers."