Why WhatsApp is sharing data with Facebook, and what happens if you refuse its new terms – iNews

Whatsapp will soon start sharing your data with Facebook if you live outside of Europe.

The messaging service was bought by Mark Zuckerberg’s company back in 2014. At the time, it told users their data would be kept private and not shared with its new parent company.

Whatsapp reversed this pledge in 2016 and started sharing data with Facebook, though allowed users to opt out.

After an upcoming update, personal data will be shared with Facebook as a condition of using the app.

Thanks to tougher privacy laws, this will not be the case in Europe, including the UK.

Is Whatsapp sharing my data with Facebook?

Whatsapp is updating its terms and privacy policy globally. If you use the app you should soon see a pop up informing you of this.

You will then be given to option to agree to these new terms or click “not now”.

The pop-up UK Whatsapp users will see (Photo: Whatsapp)

However, if you decline the terms you will no longer be able to use the app.

Outside of Europe, these new terms allow Whatsapp to share your data with Facebook to, among other things, display personalised adverts.

Whatsapp does use end-to-end encryption, so cannot see or share the contents of your messages or calls.

Despite Brexit, the UK still falls under Whatsapp’s European jurisdiction, so if you live in the UK your data will not be shared.

A Whatsapp spokesperson said: “There are no changes to WhatsApp’s data sharing practices in the European region 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.”

Could my data be shared with Facebook in the future?

Facebook is due to move the UK out of the EU’s privacy jurisdiction at some point this year, now that Brexit has been completed.

The social media giant told Reuters in December: “Like other companies, Facebook has had to make changes to respond to Brexit and will be transferring legal responsibilities and obligations for UK users from Facebook Ireland to Facebook Inc.”

It added: “There will be no change to the privacy controls or the services Facebook offers to people in the UK.”

Going by this, Facebook is saying Whatsapp will not share your data even after the transition.

However, it will legally be able to do so, so could go back on this at any point in the future.

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