Since Facebook took over WhatsApp in 2014, users of the messaging service can choose not to pass on their personal data to other “Facebook companies”, ie to Facebook itself or even to Instagram. But that will soon be a thing of the past: “By pressing Accept, you accept the new terms, which will come into force on February 8, 2021. After this date, you must accept the new terms in order to continue using WhatsApp.” Read the notification. In other words, you will shortly need to share your WhatsApp data with Facebook to use messaging.
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If WhatsApp remains an end-to-end encrypted messaging, your metadata will be used by the parent company. As BFM notes, the application is much less profitable than Facebook and Instagram, but the company wants to turn it into a paid platform for businesses that could run it as part of a customer service, for example. while other Facebook companies go for selling their products. This announcement is therefore in line with the plans of the company Mark Zuckerberg, which announced its ambition in 2019 to merge Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram into a cross-messaging system.
In addition, Facebook has a great interest in further linking its various platforms. Antitrust lawsuits in the United States over WhatsApp and Instagram buyouts could force the company to sell both apps if found guilty. If these are implemented deeper into the Facebook ecosystem, a potential resale could turn out to be much more complex.
WhatsApp’s policy that “protecting your privacy is our priority” seems, therefore, just a distant memory …