WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions have caused quite a controversy. The idea of having your information shared with Facebook is enough to make millions and millions of users switch to other messaging apps. You may have even read the terms and conditions carefully and decided it wasn’t for you.
But, did you know that WhatsApp may have been sharing your info with Facebook for some time now? In 2016, WhatsApp sent out a notice asking for permission to share the information. This notice didn’t cause controversy like this year’s because it wasn’t mandatory. WhatsApp only asked.
Some users may have accepted the conditions since they were informed that the information would improve their user experience. It’s something that other companies such as Google also ask. If you changed your mind and didn’t want to share your information, you would have to go into the WhatsApp settings to change it. You could also opt-out using the pop-up, but there was only a 30 period for that. If you forgot to do it, then you agreed to have your information shared.
How to Check If WhatsApp is Sharing Your Information Since 2016
Note: The process to check if WhatsApp has been sharing your information with Facebook since 2016 takes three days. There’s a report that WhatsApp needs to send you that’ll let you know. But, the downside is that the report takes three days to get.
To get this report, open WhatsApp and tap on the three dots to go to Settings. In Settings, tap on the Account option.
When you’re in Account Settings, tap on the Request account info option.
In the next step, tap on the Request report option. You’ll see how it says that the report is going to take three days to arrive. You won’t have to worry about missing the report since WhatsApp will send you a notification letting you know that the report is ready for you to download. When you get the notice, tap on it to download your report.
Keep in mind that you’ll have a whole month to download the report. If you forget and the month passes, you’ll have to start all over again. When you get the WhatsApp report, you’re going to see a lot of information, such as the name of the WhatsApp groups you’ve been a part of. You may react like I did, asking myself when I was part of a specific group since I have no recollection of it. But, there is one piece of it that you’ll need to look at to see if your information was already being shared with Facebook.
The section you need to look for is called Terms of Service. This section is going to have a listing for WhatsApp’s 2016 Terms of Service. You should see a date here. The piece of information that will confirm or deny that WhatsApp has been sharing your info with Facebook will be called Data Sharing Opt-Out. If you see a No to the side of this information, then your information has been shared with Facebook for quite some time now. If you see a Yes, then you got out before it was too late.
WhatsApp has pushed back the date limit for its users to accepts the new terms and conditions for three months. Time will tell if they will call it off completely if WhatsApp users massively keep switching to Telegram or Signal. Are you Ok with WhatsApp sharing your information with Facebook? Let me know in the comments below.