We knew that Facebook would be going to change the WhatsApp terms of services since last October. From the date, Facebook was warning WhatsApp users that they should accept the new terms, otherwise they may lose their accounts. As a result, millions of users began switching to other messaging apps like Signal and Telegram. This was a clear indicator for Facebook telling that the updated terms are not accepted by many users. And it has to postpone the deadline. Well, all you know this story very well. And you should also be aware that the deadline was May 15.
The delayed deadline allowed Facebook to explain WhatsApp users what information they will share with the company and whether that information is protected. Particularly, Facebook said that chats and calls will be still using end-to-end encryption. Moreover, Facebook said that those who don’t accept the data won’t lose their accounts but there’s no way to reject the terms or block Facebook from collecting data starting May 15th.
WhatsApp = WeChat
In fact, Facebook hasn’t provided detailed information on what kind of data it will collect. The company only said that it needs user data from WhatsApp to providing a better service when users want to buy goods or stay in touch with companies. Thus, it seems Facebook is realizing what it has been dreaming of starting 2014 – Facebook wants WhatsApp to become the western variant of WeChat. If you are not ware, the latter is a popular chat app in China, which also provides various services such as buying / selling products, paying for utility bills, playing games, and even contacting essential government services. Honestly, this was the main goal in the head of Facebook when it purchased the chat app for nearly $20 billion.
Well, WhatsApp users will be able to browse catalogs of products from small businesses, contact companies, and complete purchases. As you guess, everything will be realized inside the app. And that’s what Facebook needs for collecting as much data as possible.
A German data regulator has issued a ban recently to prohibit Facebook from collecting WhatsApp German users data. The head of the Hamburg State Data Protection Agency, Johannes Caspar, issued a three-month emergency ban. In addition, Casper also asked a group of EU data regulators to take action and issue a ruling in 27 member states.