Recent Whatsapp updatesCausing a dispute asking users to agree to share information with Facebook, otherwise the account will be deleted. To this end, unire conducted an exclusive interview with WhatsApp Inc.’s Communications Director. Sarafanthi DevTo answer your questions about the new terms of service.
Q: Under the new conditions, what new functions / services will the acquired data be used for in the development?
Sarafanthi: WhatsApp won’t get new information to share. This change is mainly due to large organizations like airlines, financial institutions, medical institutions, etc., which need to use WhatsApp’s Business API. This time, users should be notified that when organizations use WhatsApp Business API, they need to use Facebook’s backend and server facilities to store messages during a conversation. This does not mean that WhatsApp has acquired additional information, nor does it mean that Facebook can access the information.
Question: Why is this time forcing users to share data? Why not provide users with a choice of what personal data to share?
Q: If the user does not agree to participate, will the data used on WhatsApp be accessed before February 8, 2021?
Sarafanthi: WhatsApp collects only the bare minimum of information, such as user’s device, user profile picture, username, etc. Based on WhatsApp’s peer-to-peer encryption, we are unable to obtain user conversation content. The information we collect is mainly used to provide stable services, followed by security and privacy issues, to protect users from those fraudulent calls.
If the user does not agree to the new terms of service, he can only receive message notifications and voice call notifications, but he cannot see messages, send messages, or make voice calls to others.
Q: If the user deleted the account before February 8th, will the previous data be accessed in WhatsApp?
Sarafanthi: If the user does not agree to participate, it means that we no longer need to provide services to him, so there is no need to access his data. WhatsApp will not collect these messages.
Q: If users do not agree to share, can they still recover / backup their previous WhatsApp data after February 8th?
Sarafanthi: Conversation content is stored in your phone, and users can retrieve or backup their private data at any time.
Q: Regions that have promoted WhatsApp Payment app will collect payment account information, when will Hong Kong launch it?
Sarafanthi: WhatsApp Payment has no plans to launch in Hong Kong at the moment.
Q: Aside from sharing the information with Facebook companies, will it be sold or used to third parties?
Sarafanthi: It will never be sold to a third party. The message will only be known among users, WhatsApp cannot know this, and no third party is involved. WhatsApp cannot sell ads, chats are encrypted, and we cannot read the contents. Simply, we will not sell tracking ads, this is strictly limited to commercial messaging and message storage.
Q: The current number of WhatsApp accounts in Hong Kong? WhatsApp Business account number in Hong Kong?
Sarafanthi: WhatsApp has about 2 billion users in the world, and we know that many people in Hong Kong use WhatsApp, but we will not disclose the number of users in a particular region.
Q: Will some new features of WhatsApp be launched in Hong Kong?
Sarafanthi: Hong Kong is as functional as the rest of the world, and there is no specific job in other regions.