- WhatsApp is changing its terms of service to force users to share personal data including phone numbers and locations with its parent company, Facebook.
- Some critics, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, have suggested that users switch to the encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram.
- A WhatsApp representative told Ars Technica that the change was to allow companies to store WhatsApp conversations using Facebook’s infrastructure.
- The messaging app sells itself as a privacy-focused service.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
WhatsApp, the encrypted messaging app that sells itself as a privacy-focused service, will start forcing users to share personal data with Facebook, the parent company.
In an announcement sent to users on Wednesday, WhatsApp said that users will have to agree to allowing Facebook and its affiliates to collect WhatsApp data including users’ phone numbers, contact phone numbers, locations, and more.
If users do not agree by February 8th, they will lose access.
The move prompted users to delete their WhatsApp accounts and switch to smaller encrypted messaging apps like Signal and Telegram.
TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher tweeted: “Signal and Telegram are now better alternatives if you’re concerned about your privacy.” Share comparisons of what WhatsApp collects versus what Signal and Telegram collect.
—- Mike Butcher (mikebutcher) January 7, 2021
Tesla CEO Elon Musk was among those who recommended users switch services, Twitter, “Use Signal.”
Nine hours ago, Mask He appears to have criticized Facebook, Via a satirical meme, blames the rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, and in 2016 it gave users a one-time opportunity to opt out of sharing app data with Facebook.
WhatsApp spokeswoman He told Ars Technica The change was to allow companies to store WhatsApp conversations using the wider Facebook infrastructure.
A WhatsApp spokesperson did not explain why the platform decided to make the change, but added that it would not affect users in the European Union and the United Kingdom.
WhatsApp founders Brian Acton and Jan Kum left the company in 2017 and 2018. Acton He spoke about his departureThat followed the decision to introduce ads to WhatsApp, and called on people to “delete Facebook”.
Kum’s departure was also surrounded Reports that he clashed with management About the company’s approach to user privacy on WhatsApp.