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WhatsApp privacy policy update informs mobile number sharing with Facebook

WhatsApp’s terms and privacy policy has been updated for the first time in four years, as a part of the company’s plans to test new ways for people to connect with businesses in the months ahead. The updated documents also reflect that the company has joined Facebook and that they have recently rolled out many new features, such as end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp Calling, and IM tools like WhatsApp for web and desktop. Here are the full documents:

People use the app every day to keep in touch with friends and loved ones, and this hasn’t changed in a long time. Connecting businesses to people is among one of the company’s goals for this year, as was announced earlier this year. Their statement also promised that this in no way leads to users getting spammed. Taking this step is the beginning in this endeavor. The flow of information like hearing from the bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction, getting notified by an airline about flights, will become more at the user’s ease. Facebook wants to test these features in the coming several months but needs to update their terms and privacy policy to do so.

One of the primary reasons to update these documents is also to make clear that they have rolled out end-to-end encryption. The users got notified of it on all individual and group chats, weeks ago, when the latest update was rolled out. When the users are using the latest version of WhatsApp, the messages are encrypted by default. This essentially means the user is the only person who can read them. The changes include emphasis on the fact that the app won’t post or share phone numbers with others, including on Facebook, or sell them to advertisers.

However, coordinating with Facebook will help them to do things like track basic stats about how often people use the services and fight spam on WhatsApp. By connecting the phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook offers better friend suggestions and shows more relevant ads if the user has an account with them. For example, users will get advertisements from companies posting about jobs relevant to their stream.

The end to end encryption system is supposed to be a rock solid protection in terms of privacy. However, users have often complained about getting Facebook advertisements about the things that they recently talked about with someone on WhatsApp.