The 4 January announcement by WhatsApp that it would be sharing user data with Facebook was… alarming. But we can all calm down to a mild panic. WhatsApp isn’t changing significantly. Ever since Facebook bought the messaging app in 2014, there’s been some level of data sharing between the two, but not the content of your messages, which are kept private. However other info, like how you interact with the app and your contacts, is shared. So, last week, WhatsApp simply forced us to agree to what it is already doing or to leave the app. BUT there are changes for WhatsApp Business account users, Facebook later clarified. Essentially, WhatsApp Business users risk having more information about their conversations shared with Facebook, so they can be targeted with more personalised ads. South Africa’s Information Regulator is in talks with Facebook over these changes and its impact on SA users, EWN reported. You can read our full explainer at explain.co.za.
This brief was originally published in The Wrap here.