Last Tuesday, WhatsApp started to rollout in-app notifications to users informing an update in its Terms of Service and privacy policy. “WhatsApp is updating its terms and privacy policy,” read the notification, which was sent out to both Android and iOS users. The notification further read, “By tapping Agree, you accept the new terms and privacy policy, which take effect on 8 February 2021. After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp”. This means, unless you accept the new policies and terms, you will not use the application.

The notification mentions the ‘key updates’ of the policy, including how WhatsApp processes user data, how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats, and how the company partners with Facebook offer integrations across the Facebook Company Product.

WhatsApp also says, “if any of your contacts aren’t yet using our Services, we’ll manage this information for you in a way that ensures we cannot identify those contacts.”On WhatsApp’s website, to reveal the specific of how it processes user data, the company says, “when a user forwards media within a message, we store that media temporarily in encrypted form on our servers to aid in the more efficient delivery of additional forwards.” In terms of updates, WhatsApp maintains. “We do not retain your messages in the ordinary course of providing our Services to you. Instead, your messages are stored on your device and not typically stored on our servers. Once your messages are delivered, they are deleted from our servers.”

In the update, WhatsApp also talks about payments and transactions. It says, “If you use our payments services, or use our Services meant for purchases or other financial transactions, we process additional information about you, including payment account and transaction information. Payment account and transaction information include information needed to complete the transaction (for example, information about your payment method, shipping details, and transaction amount). If you use our payments services available in your country or territory, our privacy practices are described in the applicable payments privacy policy.”

Users have the choice to opt for ‘Not now’ when the in-app notification; however, the deadline to read and accept the terms is 8 February 2021. After that date, users will either have to accept the notification or stop using the app.

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