With all the recent controversy surrounding WhatsApp’s new terms of service, many users have deleted their account and caused Facebook to scramble to do some damage control by issuing a statement saying that user data is still encrypted. We took a look at the updated terms of service and this is what users now have to agree to.
From February the 8th Facebook will now reserve the right to share the collected data with its family of companies. The data collected includes:
Usage And Log Information. We collect information about your activity on our Services, like service-related, diagnostic, and performance information. This includes information about your activity including your IP address and location information your Device identification. Your user phone numbers other people's phone numbers that are in your address books including profile names pictures and your status.
When you interact with a business, and the time, frequency, and duration of your activities and interactions, log files, and diagnostic, crash, website, and performance logs and reports. This also includes information about when you registered to use our Services; the features you use like our messaging, calling. Status, groups (including group name, group picture, group description), payments or business features; profile photo, "about" information; whether you are online, when you last used our Services (your "last seen"), and when you last updated your "about" information.
Europe's privacy laws are much stricter and there is one particular difference that stood out to me comparing to the US agreement or rather the rest of world agreement to the European agreement, which is that WhatsApp explicitly says in the US version a wants to be able to integrate with other Facebook company products, for example, it says “allowing you to connect your Facebook pay account to pay for things on WhatsApp or enabling you to chat with your friends on whatsapp on other Facebook company product”.
Facebook are known to change their minds when it suits themselves and so these Terms of Service could be amended at any time and so users need to decide just how much information they are willing to give up to facebook or use other free privacy focused messaging services.