When you provide personal information to companies, it is important to be aware of how they may share your data. A recent change is forcing WhatsApp users to agree to sharing information with Facebook or to stop using the service. A pop-up notice asking users to accept the updates or to delete their accounts was shown to users. 

WhatsApp owners, Facebook, shared that the data-sharing changes would not apply to users in the UK or Europe, due to privacy regulations in these regions. However, users from Europe and the UK will be asked to accept the updates before 8 February if they wish to continue using WhatsApp.

The international privacy policy has been updated, removing a section that allowed users to opt-out of sharing data with Facebook. The updated version of the privacy policy says that data can be shared with other Facebook companies for the purposes of personalised ads, content suggestions and help with purchases.

For non-Europeans who accept the changes, this means that WhatsApp may share details such as phone number, details about your phone, IP address and even payments/transactions made using WhatsApp.

While it is good to see that Europe’s stricter privacy regulations have protected users, it is a timely reminder that companies can make changes to enable them to share your personal information.