The updated terms help WhatsApp to integrate more closely into Facebook’s family of products, as it aims to provide a more coherent experience to users across services, and enables the company to use gathered information on all users to display targeted ads. The widely-reported change was met with an outcry of displeasure on social media, leading to a rush to download rival messaging app Signal, and has even sparked an antitrust investigation in Turkey.
The FAQ explains that WhatsApp and Facebook cannot see a user’s private messages or hear their calls. Logs of who users are messaging and calling are not retained and shared location, contact information, and group membership is kept private.
WhatsApp suggests that the majority of data sharing with Facebook is derived from communicating with businesses that use hosting services from Facebook or after using Facebook-branded commerce services such as Shops. Either may result in targeted ads being shown to users.