WhatsApp’s updated terms and privacy policy: Before you click that ‘Agree’ button (READ)

whatsapp update

Whatsapp has released an updated terms and privacy policy and users have until 25 September, 2016 to agree in order to continue using the popular messaging application.

We understand that a lot of people will click the agree button first before trying to figure out what the updated terms are because frankly, we cannot afford not to. Or can we?

Read on for a breakdown of the fine print to know whether you really want to go on using Whatsapp.

Sharing your data with Facebook

Whatsapp was acquired by Facebook back in 2014 and so the app is in many ways connected with the social media site now. There’s a box just above the “AGREE” button; if you click this, then you will be allowing your Whatsapp data to be used to “improve” ads on Facebook.

Good thing though is that you do not have to check this box in order to agree to the new terms. You could though since it promises to allow for better spam fighting by the company and it also means that Whatsapp will be so connected to your Facebook that you might get friend suggestions on the social media platform based on your Whatsapp contact list …if you are into that kind of thing.

Revoking the permission

If you’ve already clicked the agree button without unchecking this box, not to worry, you have 30 days to revpke the permission from your Account settings in-app.

Just go to Settings>Account>Share my account info>Uncheck box. You’re welcome but remember you only have 30 days to opt out in case you are just planning to test how it works.

Customer service portal

The updated terms give legal freedom to Whatsapp to develop business accounts in-app. As such, Whatsapp can can become a portal for customer service, allowing airlines to contact users about delayed flights or banks to warn them about fraudulent transactions which the current privacy policy prevents. Cool stuff!

Business Accounts

We know you already use Whatsapp for your businesses (some businesses are actually built around Whatsapp) but the updated policy will also ensure we don’t ever have to pay for the app as individual because Whatsapp can now begin to explore new revenue possibilities. It already plans to begin testing business accounts in the coming months.

No access to emergency numbers

The fact that you subscribe with your phone number doesn’t mean Whatsapp actually can provide quick response services but I presume this is no News. We know our 112, Whatsapp. Thanks.

Resolution of conflicts with Whatsapp

There’s a special arbitration clause in the updated policy though it only applies to users in the United States and Canada. Essentially, you cannot sue Whatsapp in a court of law (and vice versa). Instead, any disputes between Whatsapp and users can only be resolved via individual arbitrtation.

So if you had plans of suing Whatsapp for big bucks in court, do not click AGREE!

No users under 13

No. Except your country has an overriding law that allows younger people to use the app. (Lai Mohammed, what say you?) Otherwise, a parent or guardian needs to agree on your behalf. Not bad.

Now pay attention

Here’s your license to Whatsapp: you grant Whatsapp a worldwide, FREE (no royalties guys) and transferable (by them) license to use, however they choose, the content that you upload, submit, store, send or receive using the App. Just joking The license is just so Whatsapp can display your profile pictures and status messages, send your messages and store any undelivered messages for up to a month.

So are there alternatives to Whatsapp if you choose not to agree? 

We are not sure about this considering how the app is almost a culture on its own now but people are saying there’s a secure app called Sicher. Otherwise, go back to BBM.


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