The message to users noted that the key updates include more information about WhatsApp’s service and how it processes user data; how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats; and how WhatsApp partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the company products.
The message added that users will need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp.
“For example, we’ve added more information about more recent product features (like catalogs/ add to cart feature, etc) and functionalities, how we process your data for safety, security and integrity, and added more direct links to user settings, Help Center articles and how you can manage your information,” the spokesperson said.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has in the past indicated towards a connected, interoperable system where WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger can be used interchangeably.
WhatsApp counts India among its biggest markets with over 400 million users. More than 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day globally and more than 40 million people view a business” catalog each month — including more than 3 million in India.
“As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, the other Facebook Companies.
“We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customise, support, and market our services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products,” it said.
This includes helping improve infrastructure and delivery systems; improving user experience; and providing integrations across the company’s products.
For example, allowing users to connect Facebook Pay account to pay for things on WhatsApp or enabling users to chat with friends on other Facebook products, such as Portal, it explained.
WhatsApp also asserted that it offers end-to-end encryption for its services, which protects the messages from being read by WhatsApp and third parties. Also, no third-party banner ads are allowed on WhatsApp.