What is that fine print? Whether you opt out or opt in, your WhatsApp data is going to be shared with Facebook. Here is how WhatsApp explains it:
“The Facebook family of companies will still receive and use this information for other purposes such as improving infrastructure and delivery systems, understanding how our services or theirs are used, securing systems, and fighting spam, abuse, or infringement activities.”
Time to freak out?
A little. Although, this was inevitable. WhatsApp is a free service and it somehow needs to monetise itself. As we have seen again and again, if a web service is free it’s invariably going to earn money by making use of the user data it has. The important bit here is in what way it makes use of this data.
Now, with some services you may not mind it. For example, on an image host you may not mind seeing the ads of a camera while you store your photos there for free. But in the case of services like WhatsApp, it’s little more nuanced considering how much users data the service has and the fact that this data is very personal.
But at the same, the world is definitely not ending. Much of the data that WhatsApp is going to provide to Facebook is possibly similar what the social media giant already have from you, or what you have given to Google through Gmail, Hangouts and Android.
These companies already have a lot of your personal data, which they use for targeted advertising. If you don’t mind Google or Facebook this data to serve ads to you, you don’t have to worry too much about WhatsApp’s new privacy.