WhatsApp had already announced at the end of last year that its Conditions of Use would change as of February 8, 2021. In order to continue using the most used instant messaging application in the world, and owned by Facebook since 2014 , it will be mandatory to accept its new rules of use.
In fact, it is possible that in the last hours you have received a message in which you are already asked to accept the new regulations. One like this that follows and that we have already received:
Are the changes that have been introduced important? The reality is that yes, although it is also true that they will affect all users of the messaging platform except those who reside in the countries of the European Union, and this is important to take into account. The changes do not affect because the GDPR applies in the EU, the legislation that came into force in May 2018 and that affects the use that companies make of user data.
In any case, although they do not affect users in the European Union, they also have to give their consent to the new regulations to continue using WhatsApp and the change is significant, as we will explain below.
Basically, what the new norm does is pave the way towards the integration of WhatsApp and Facebook, at least as far as user information management is concerned. As soon as they accept the rules, information about WhatsApp users such as their telephone number, operations data, information about the numbers and companies with which they interact will be shared with Facebook -and all the companies with which it collaborates, information about the mobile device used, the IP address …
That is, although WhatsApp and Facebook continue to operate as independent services, Facebook, as the owner of WhatsApp, will have access to all the information that is shared through the instant messaging app. What you will not be able to access is the conversations themselves – which are encrypted point to point – but all the information about the user and the way in which they use the app, in the same way that they already do on Instagram or Facebook Messenger.
As we say, this will be the case for all users of the app who do not reside in the European Union, where the use and transfer of data by third companies is limited thanks to the application of the GDPR.