A lot of the concerns around WhatsApp sharing data with Facebook was that the company would be sharing all of the private things you are messaging to the company and using that for advertising purposes, or even claiming that Facebook would be listening in on all your conversations. Like they either have the time or would even care to do so.
The company wants to make it clear that the core foundation of private communications being completely encrypted and private will remain, with Whatsapp not able to actually see the contents of this info. It also provided some tips on how you can ensure your data is kept safe, should you continue to be concerned.
The update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and its important people are aware of these services. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.
Of course, Whatsapp didn’t do itself any favours by how poorly it communicated these changes to people, and Facebook’s notoriously bad reputation in dealing with private data only added fuel to the fire. Hopefully, they can do a better job this time in either removing the confusion or perhaps finding a better way of sharing data in a way that makes users feel safe.
It’s perhaps worth mentioning though that a platform like WhatsApp needs to monetise itself in some form or another and that its competitors will eventually need to do similar things to make money (as WeChat already does) and even offer similar data privacy policies. All this is unlikely to change the low opinion people have of Facebook though and it could be tough for WhatsApp to still recover from here.
Last Updated: January 18, 2021