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WhatsApp data is now Facebook data

Updated: Mar 3, 2022

Data Privacy, Data Ownership, Data Collaboration, Data Fabric, Data Protection, Data Rights, Data Democratization, Social Media, Facebook, WhatsApp,
Another blow to data ownership. Your WhatsApp data is now Facebook data.

TechCrunch is reporting that global social media giant Facebook has integrated WhatsApp users into the Facebook data privacy framework without collecting 'opt-in' consent. The change means that WhatsApp will now be sending marketing materials about Facebook companies to WhatsApp users, and data collected from the WhatsApp will be used to make content suggestions, people recommendations, and serve ads on Facebook.

Why this matters

Facebook has automatically opted-in end users to a new privacy policy without their consent and the only real option to opt-out is to delete WhatsApp altogether. This type of bullying tactic is not new, but in this case the scale is significant - Whatsapp has over 2 billion users in over 170 countries. Millions of these users have developed a reliance on messenger services like WhatsApp to bypass costly traditional communications and support their livelihoods, with many people even use them for social good use cases, so deletion is not a trivial decision.

Our view

What this move by Facebook highlights is the complete ineffectiveness of privacy policies to protect our increasingly fragmented personal data and the desperate need for new approaches to building digital services that eliminate data copies and give end-users meaningful control over how their data is used, viewed, and monetized.

See also: proposed standard for Zero Copy Integration.

Quotable quote

"Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing. WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product." - Jan Koum, billionaire WhatsApp founder, writing in the WhatsApp blog about the Facebook acquisition in February 2014.


Publisher: TechCrunch



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