Facebook has owned the WhatsApp messaging platform since 2014, but has not imposed such conditions of use on users so far.
Even at the risk of getting even more attention from antitrust authorities, Mark Zuckerberg’s company decided to exploit the success of WhatsApp in pandemic times by forcing users to consent to the transfer of data collected after using the mobile application directly to Facebook. Those who do not give their consent for these practices will no longer be able to use WhatsApp, starting with February 8, 2021.
Although it is de facto under the control of Facebook, WhatsApp has so far functioned almost as an independent messaging platform, maintaining its own identity and applying different rules on security and collecting information about users. The general impression was that the platform better respects the confidentiality of its users, its reputation contributing decisively to its success. This image is changing now, WhatsApp becoming a more important wheel in the Facebook gear created to monetize users.
Certainly, the interconnection with Facebook Messenger announced since the beginning of 2019 has brought WhatsApp on a path of no return, the social platform increasingly serving the interests of the parent company. With a simple notification message sent to users, Facebook announces the change of policy to leave Facebook integration optional.