Thanks to WhatsApp, Facebook will indeed have access to some of your private information

WhatsApp does share your IP address and phone number with Facebook, even without the updated Terms of Service.

WhatsApp, Messenger et Instagram

WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram applications // Source: Frandroid

For the past week and a half, WhatsApp has struggled to communicate on the update to its terms of use . It must be said that the various statements of the American group have been convoluted to say the least, in particular concerning the changes implemented for users in Europe.

On January 7, Facebook thus indicated that European WhatsApp users would not be affected by the use of personal data : “WhatsApp still does not share the data of WhatsApp users in the European Union with Facebook for the purpose of Facebook using this data to improve its products and advertisements ”. Nevertheless, twelve days later, it seems that the social network has changed its tune.

BFM journalist Raphaël Grably indeed reports that Facebook has confirmed to him that French users would be affected by these changes in terms of use: “Facebook confirms to me that WhatsApp will share information linked to the number of telephone, IP address and transactions (when the function will be available in France) with Facebook, including including in France ”.

For information (because we discussed it with several journalists): @FacebookFR confirms to me that WhatsApp will share information related to the phone number, the IP address and the transactions (when the function will be available in France) with Facebook, including in FR

– Raphael Grably (@GrablyR) January 19, 2021

The journalist recalls that this sharing of data between the two services was already well indicated in the FAQ posted online by WhatsApp, even if the initial communication from Facebook suggested that it would not concern France. Above all, this data sharing is already in place within Facebook and WhatsApp, without being clearly integrated into the T & Cs. However, as Raphaël Grably points out, “the change is that it becomes compulsory for everyone” . In fact, when the new terms of use are put in place on May 15 , users who do not subscribe to them will no longer be able to use the WhatsApp messaging service.

A discourse far from clear on the Facebook side

In addition to these few tweets, the BFM reporter also recalls the difficulty of obtaining clear information from Facebook, which does not seem determined to fully play the transparency card. “When I ask Facebook about the difference with politics in the EU and outside the EU, they just tell me about the delivery of targeted advertising. Which is surprising since he seemed to say this targeted advertising would not apply anywhere “, he says. He also regrets a particularly vague speech which seems intended so that the public “understands absolutely nothing” .

Finally, regarding the use of private data for targeted advertising, Facebook is not closing the door. The social network indicates that WhatsApp’s personal data cannot be used to deliver targeted advertising on Facebook, but this restriction mainly stems from a legal ban. However, if the legal framework evolves, Facebook may well have to use WhatsApp data to further target its users, after receiving approval from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.

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