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The public opinion has been quite tormented by the new privacy regulations introduced along with the new terms of service WhatsApp announced. Yesterday, the developers of the popular instant messaging app declared that they will start sharing information about its users with the company that owns WhatsApp, namely Facebook.

According to their declaration, it will share online status, status message, phone numbers and profile data. However, this change directly violates the consent order released by the Federal Trade Commission, according to what the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) claims. This privacy group says that they are going to file a complaint against both companies for violating regulations.



They are basically accusing WhatsApp for lying to their users, since back in 2014, after they have been sold to Facebook, they claimed that this change would not affect at all their privacy policy, where they said they would never sell or share any personally identifiably information.

The developers argued that they need to share some of this data with Facebook in order to improve new features they plan to implement regarding business communication. For instance, they will be using the new features for notifications from a bank (regarding fraud, for example) or delays regarding flights from an airline company. They assured their users that their messages will continue to be encrypted and unavailable for reading both for the WhatsApp employees and Facebook staff.

Theoretically, users have 30 days to select the option of not sharing their data. EPIC claims though that this doesn’t protect the companies from the consent order from FTC, according to which the company has to offer opt-in consent before asking their users to agree to their new terms of use. Technically you can access the opt-in option if you click “Read” to view the terms of use and then you will see the opt-in checkbox.

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