Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Millions of WhatsApp users from India received a notification on the updated terms of services and privacy policy, as part of an upcoming global roll-out. The update expects the users to accept the changes in its Terms of Service and privacy policy by February 8 or their accounts will be deleted. This controversial change will take effect on February 8, 2021.

The in-app notification mentioned that WhatsApp will collect and process user’s information going forward. The noteworthy change here was the sharing of user data to Facebook and its subsidiaries. Prior to this update, WhatsApp users had the option to opt out of this service.

“WhatsApp must receive or collect some information to operate, provide, improve, understand, customise, support, and market our Services, including when you install, access, or use our Services” the updated policy read. Even if users were to accept the terms of service and privacy policy, they have an additional 30 days to make this choice. They can go to Settings > Account, and disable this service, as mentioned in their key updates.

Another aspect of the update that concerned many users was that if a user were to enjoy Facebook services through third-party services or Facebook Company Products, they 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,” the company said.

However, some parts of the update were welcomed, such as allowing businesses to use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats. More information about WhatsApp’s service becoming transparent along with how it processes user data was also included.

Facebook CEO and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg had indicated his interest in merging the three apps (Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp) in the past. The social network has already integrated Messenger rooms with WhatsApp on the Web.