Instant messaging platform WhatsApp is updating its privacy policy with some significant changes that may affect its users whi run their businesses through the app.

While the app remains end-to-end encrypted, meaning your messages are encrypted to protect against WhatsApp and third parties from reading them, the app will collect and share private data of users to Facebook, which owns the app.

In an update released on Monday [January 4], Whatsapp explained that it will “collect information about your activity on our Services, like service-related, diagnostic, and performance information. This includes information about your activity (including how you use our Services, your Services settings, how you interact with others using our Services (including 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.”

Furthermore, there will be even greater integration between WhatsApp and Facebook’s other products like Messenger and Instagram. This means they will share data like your phone number, transaction data, IP address, and information on how you interact with others (including businesses).

“We allow you to use our Services in connection with third-party services and Facebook Company Products. If you use our Services with such third-party services or Facebook Company Products, we may receive information about you from them; for example, if you use the WhatsApp share button on a news service to share a news article with your WhatsApp contacts, groups, or broadcast lists on our Services, or if you choose to access our Services through a mobile carrier’s or device provider’s promotion of our Services,” they explain.

This change is focused on business-related accounts and chats, WhatsApp confirmed to MoneyWeb.

“There will be no change in data sharing with Facebook for non-business chats and account information, and with regard to business messaging, we are not mandating users to share data,” the company said.

“As we’ve said previously, we are updating our terms of service and privacy policy as we work to make WhatsApp a great way to get answers or help from a business. We’re providing users with ample notice to review the changes.”

Users will not be able to opt-out of the new privacy policy, as its terms and conditions must be accepted to continue using the app. Users must agree to the new terms by February 8 or lose access to their chats and contacts.

Deleting your account will delete your account info and profile photo, delete you from all WhatsApp groups, and delete your WhatsApp message history, but it will not delete your data as your information will be stored with WhatsApp for a longer period.

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