By Kris Carlon.
These user data stories are always interesting because half of us don’t care if one app shares our data with another, especially one that owns them.
The other half of us get all riled up and hit the comments with fire in our hearts and venom on our tongues (or is it fingers?). But as app users we’re in the business of giving away our information and even when we’re angry we typically continue using the services that we feel have slighted us.
Such is the case with WhatsApp, which has just received warnings from EU privacy regulators reprimanding it for sharing user data with its parent company Facebook. Recent changes to WhatsApp’s terms allow the messaging service to share your phone number with Facebook, filling in yet another piece of Facebook’s all-encompassing picture of you.
This is the first such change to WhatsApp’s terms and conditions since Facebook acquired the company back in 2014. But the EU’s 28 data protection authorities have sent letters to WhatsApp requesting the app stop sharing any user data with Facebook until “appropriate legal protections could be assured”.
As always, be careful what you agree to. Not just when installing an app but also when installing an update or agreeing to a change in terms and conditions. If you couldn’t care less what gets shared about you then carry on as you were, but if this kind of story concerns you the least you can do is take the time to read the fine print before hitting “install”, “update” or “I agree”.