What was so unacceptable about the policy, and what did the South African regulator have to say, let’s find out.
The previous update was quite different from this one since it provided the users with an option to choose whether or not to have their WhatsApp account information shared with Facebook. But, this ‘take it or leave it’ choice violates the users’ privacy and puts them at risk.
South African regulator seeks legal advice on the update
According to the authority, Facebook Inc. cannot share any contact information it collects from WhatsApp users without first obtaining authorization from the country’s Information Regulator (IR). Chairperson of the IR, Pansy Tlakula finds it unfair that Facebook has adopted this differentiation between Europe and Africa.
Denying the claims, a WhatsApp spokesperson says that the update doesn’t expand the company’s ability to share data with Facebook and that the company is also reviewing the regulator’s letter.
Summing it up
The stark reality is that not just WhatsApp, most apps out there have long been collecting user data and share it with third parties. It’s just that all of this information is mostly hidden behind the long terms and conditions which many of us don’t care to read and blindly accept.
But it’s also true that as compared to other apps which may collect only certain information, Facebook and WhatsApp may collect excessive data, some of which may be personal. As such, it’s high time for us as users to think about whether we want to choose convenience over privacy.
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