Whatsapp, which sells itself to users as a privacy-friendly messaging app, will begin to force users to share personal information with its parent company Facebook.
In an announcement sent to users on Wednesday, Whatsapp wrote that they must consent to Facebook and its subsidiaries being allowed to collect Whatsapp data such as users’ phone numbers, contact phone numbers, locations and more.
If users do not agree by February 8th, they will lose access. The move led to calls to users to delete their WhatsApp accounts and switch to smaller encrypted messaging apps such as Signal or Telegram.
Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, and in 2016 it gave users the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to opt out of sharing app data with Facebook. Now they have no choice.
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“Signal and Telegram are now better alternatives if you are concerned about your privacy,” tweeted for example the “TechCrunch” editor Mike Butcher. He shared comparisons of the data WhatsApp collects with what Signal and Telegram collect.