The in-app notification did not elicit much details but clicking on the links clearly mentioned the key changes in how WhatsApp will collect and process users’ information going forward, and the partnership with Facebook, its parent company, as part of a larger unification drive between the family of apps.
“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.
“Businesses you interact with using our Services may provide us with information about their interactions with you. We require each of these businesses to act in accordance with applicable law when providing any information to us,” it further read.
The mobile messaging platform said that it works with third-party service providers and “other Facebook Companies” to help it operate, provide, improve, understand, customise, support, and market its services.
“These companies may provide us with information about you in certain circumstances; for example, app stores may provide us with reports to help us diagnose and fix service issues”.
To recall, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in October said that the company is working hard to merge Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp so that they can start to function a little bit more like one connected interoperable system.
In a bid to allow cross-messaging among its family of apps, Facebook has reportedly started merging Instagram and Messenger chats. The social network has already integrated Messenger rooms with WhatsApp on the Web.
“There’s more work to happen here. We of course, want to bring in WhatsApp to that interoperability as well. There are more features we want to add even to the Messenger, Instagram interoperability,” Zuckerberg had told analysts during the company’s earnings call.
Facebook Company Products
In its updated policy, WhatsApp said that if “you use our Services with such third-party services or Facebook Company Products, we 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.
WhatsApp said as part of the Facebook Companies, it can make suggestions for you (for example, of friends or group connections, or of interesting content), like “personalising features and content, helping you complete purchases and transactions, and showing relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products,” along with “providing integrations which enable you to connect your WhatsApp experiences with other Facebook Company Products”.
“For example, allowing you to connect your Facebook Pay account to pay for things on WhatsApp or enabling you to chat with your friends on other Facebook Company Products, such as Portal, by connecting your WhatsApp account,” the new policy explained.