WhatsApp/Facebook and your right to privacy

Published: 28 May 2021

If you use WhatsApp you may have noticed that a message keeps popping up asking you to agree to new conditions. This is because WhatsApp has a new privacy policy which will force users to share their data with Facebook. The data includes contact details, status updates, profile pictures, device and connection information, although not messages and calls. Facebook will have permission to use this information and pass it on to other subsidiaries, regardless of whether you have a Facebook account. Compliance is effectively mandatory because Facebook plans to penalise those who don’t accept with gradual removal of application functionality. After a few months those that do not agree to the changes will have their accounts closed automatically.  

No one should ever be forced to waiver their privacy rights. It is also very important to note that, in this case, the personal data you are being forced to share with Facebook actually belongs to your friends, family and business contacts so your decisions also affect them.

The market has been responding to the position taken by platforms such as WhatsApp and the data privacy concerns it has caused amongst users. There are now a number of different secure messaging apps, which are free, and have virtually the same functionality which you can choose to use.

We encourage you not to simply agree to the new conditions unless you are absolutely clear that you understand what you are being asked to consent to as well as the consequences of doing so. There are alternatives and you do have a choice.