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WhatsApp data sharing update under investigation


Presumably, you have seen the new feature on WhatsApp that allows you to share stuff on Facebook. The shared data will be used to help targeted advertising viewed by Facebook users, and it will share phone numbers and the details of the last time that users signed on to WhatsApp, with Facebook.

The UK’s Information Commissioner provided that because the changes would affect many people it wanted more details about what was being shared.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement that users’ opinions about the change was likely to be split.

“Some might consider it’ll give them a better service, others may be concerned by the lack of control,” she said.

“Our role is to pull back the curtain on things like this, ensuring that companies are being transparent with the public about how their personal data is being shared and protecting consumers by making sure the law is being followed.”

She further provided that while organisations did not need to get prior permission from the ICO to change how they handle personal data, any change had to remain within data protection laws.

Any organisation that breaks the Data Protection Act can be fined up to £500,000 by the ICO.

Upgrade announcement

Last week on Thursday WhatsApp made the upgrade announcement on their blog,” Today, we’re updating WhatsApp’s terms and privacy policy for the first time in four years, as part of our plans to test ways for people to communicate with businesses in the months ahead. The updated documents also reflect that we’ve joined Facebook and that we’ve recently rolled out many new features, like end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp Calling, and messaging tools like WhatsApp for web and desktop.

We’re also updating these documents to make clear that we’ve rolled out end-to-end encryption. When you and the people you message are using the latest version of WhatsApp, your messages are encrypted by default, which means you’re the only people who can read them. Even as we coordinate more with Facebook in the months ahead, your encrypted messages stay private and no one else can read them. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else. We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers.”