The Facebook-owned instant messengers details how WhatsApp’s service handles your data as well as how WhatsApp partners with the larger Facebook platform to allow integrations across multiple apps, including Instagram and Facebook Messenger.
WhatsApp says that “In order to use our Services, you consent to manually or automatically download and install updates to our Services” and details the safety as well as security policies and how your usage is analyzed with the data being used to supposedly improve the app.
This will be applicable for all WhatsApp platform versions, including WhatsApp for Android, WhatsApp for iPhone, WhatsApp web and so on.
The company says that they collect user information to be able to provide services and customize the experience for the user.
This is where things get interesting. “Even if you do not use our location-related features, we use IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (e.g., city and country). We also use your location information for diagnostics and troubleshooting purposes,” is the very clear message.
“We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products,” say the updated terms of service.
Mind you, this also means that your data will be used to serve personalized suggestions as well as advertisements targeted at you and your usage trends across a variety of platforms.
The WhatsApp updated terms say this is for “improving their services and your experiences using them, such as making suggestions for you (for example, of friends or group connections, or of interesting content), personalizing features and content, helping you complete purchases and transactions, and showing relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products.”
If you are wondering what Facebook Company Products mean, we’ll let Facebook explain it anyway—” Facebook Products include Facebook (including the Facebook mobile app and in-app browser), Messenger, Instagram (including apps such as Boomerang), Portal-branded devices, Oculus Products (when using a Facebook account), Facebook Shops, Spark AR Studio, Audience Network, NPE Team apps and any other features, apps, technologies, software, products or services offered by Facebook Inc.”
It is just that there is now greater clarity on certain aspects of how WhatsApp, Facebook as well as other third party services access, manage and use your data.
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