The internet is abuzz with the new privacy policy of whatsapp. There has been widespread concern over this owing to data security, be it from individual users or privacy experts.

Let us decode what this new privacy policy will mean for you.

What are the key changes?
WhatsApp will now share data with its parent company, Facebook to offer integrated products and improved services. This will also mean that a user’s basic personal information, WhatsApp display photo, status and ‘About’ details will be shared with Facebook.

Are there any changes to the hardware on my smartphone?
Yes; WhatsApp will additionally collect information such as a user’s IP address, connection information (like model, operating system, browser information, etc). Details pertaining to the device’s battery level, signal strength and version of the app in use will also be captured. The user’s location too will be captured, albeit with their permission.

Where will WhatsApp store data?
This is where Facebook’s global infrastructure will come into play – data might be stored at Facebook’s data centres in the US or in other locations where the company has affiliate offices.

Will this impact messages sent via WhatsApp?
WhatsApp messages will continue to be encrypted, however this sharing of information makes your data more susceptible to leakage.

Will this impact WhatsApp Pay?
With the new policy, WhatsApp will process additional user data such as payment account and transaction information. However, it may be advisable to check the dedicated policy for WhatsApp Pay in India for additional details.

How does this impact a WhatsApp Business Account?
The data shared on a Business Account may now be shared ahead with third-party service providers. These businesses would be able to store and process this information for business-related purposes.

Why is this troublesome?
While most apps do collect data, having the ability to collect data from heavily used platforms and interconnecting it is what makes this scary. You can reveal much more about you than you intend to.

What is the deadline to accept the new terms and privacy policy?
If you wish to continue to use WhatsApp, you need to ‘agree’ to these terms by February 8, 2021.

What is the alternative?
Users have the option to opt out of using WhatsApp, which means deleting the account from the account settings, in addition to uninstalling the app from their smartphone. Alternatively, you can look at having a dedicated sim for just whatsapp to avoid sharing of more information about you.

Make an informed decision
Using social media comes with its shares of pros and cons. As with any other app, it’s prudent to carefully check the terms and privacy policy before deciding which social media app is best suited to your lifestyle needs.

Disclaimer – Data shared here is collected from third party sources and is subject to accuracy concerns

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