Take it or leave it
11 January 2021 00:00 by Robin Gerhold
Written by Robin Gerhold, Partner at Gerhold and van Wyk Attorneys and Conveyancers for LexisNexis South Africa.
The updated Policy
The most notable updates to the Policy concern how WhatsApp processes data; WhatsApp’s communications with businesses; and integrations with Facebook Company apps and products.
What data will be collected?
WhatsApp will collect data from its users, such as:
- account information, including users’ phone numbers and basic information;
- users’ contacts;
- status information;
- transactions and payment data;
- usage data;
- device data, such as hardware model; battery level; signal strength; browser information; mobile network; IP address; and identifiers;
- location data;
- information from businesses that users interact with on WhatsApp;
- information received from Facebook Company Products and third-party services.
What information will be shared with other Facebook companies?
WhatsApp may share any information with Facebook that has been identified in the Policy or any information obtained upon notice to the user.
How will the information be used?
Information may be used for a number of purposes, including:
- provision of services;
- ensuring safety and security;
- facilitating communication between businesses and users;
- providing communications about WhatsApp and Facebook services;
Will WhatsApp share users’ messages with Facebook?
WhatsApp advises that its users’ messages will remain encrypted and are therefore protected. The Policy states that WhatsApp does not retain messages in the ordinary course of providing its services to users, instead messages are stored on users’ devices, although WhatsApp does store messages under the following circumstances:
- undelivered messages will be stored for up to 30 days;
- media is stored temporarily, in order to aid efficient delivery.
Effect of the updated Policy
The updated Policy has caused global concerns regarding privacy and many of WhatsApp’s 2 billion users to flock to alternative messaging platforms.
Could this be the downfall of WhatsApp?