Facebook last year infuriated many users when one of its popular messaging apps, WhatsApp, updated its data sharing policy to exchange data with the parent company. The move was criticised aplenty by several regulators as well, including in India when a top court barred WhatsApp from sharing any data with Facebook. While WhatsApp has managed to keep this matter low-key for long, a new leak suggests that it could well be going ahead with the data sharing plans to additionally offer businesses with sponsored content, thanks to the newly launched WhatsApp Business app that brings many businesses onboard.
According to WABetaInfo that managed to obtain WhatsApp’s new Terms of Service (ToS), WhatsApp could begin sharing users’ personal data with ‘Facebook Companies’ in the app version 2.18.57 under the Beta channel. The report, however, adds that this will only be done to ‘provide services to WhatsApp’. Further, the leaked Terms of Service do not suggest if the shared information will be used for preferential advertising within the app, and that none of the information will be available to Facebook Company Products unless the user gives access to WhatsApp. The report further quotes the ToS that say WhatsApp will use Facebook Companies to understand the way its features perform so that they can be improved to provide ‘an innovative experience’ to the users.
Moreover, the leaked ToS enlist that WhatsApp is rejigging its objectives after its foray into the enterprise domain where it has now got many businesses onboard to connect with their customers and provide them with related services. WhatsApp will allow businesses to join the platform faster by offering sponsored content and ads from the businesses. While it is not clear how the advertisements will be implemented on the platform, WhatsApp is now looking to drive a huge user base of the businesses via its WhatsApp Business app. The WhatsApp Business app was recently launched where businesses can sign up for free to connect with their customers. There are features that will help the businesses to improve the communication with the customers, in addition to the already available features borrowed from the WhatsApp Messenger app.