When Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, people were wondering how Facebook would utilise WhatsApp and the data that it amasses from its billions of users all around the globe. Facebook has made some changes to the popular messaging app since its acquisition, such as making it a place to shop rather than just chat with your friends and family. Facebook will also merge WhatsApp with Instagram and Messenger to allow users of all three (separate) services to communicate with each other. But the latest change to the messaging app is one of somewhat draconian nature. Facebook will now mine all the data it collects from WhatsApp, and it's not giving you a choice.
Not only will Facebook be collecting this data for its own purposes, but the company will also be sharing that data with other third-parties as well. The scope and reach of Facebook is massive, and there's no telling just how far your data will go. You can read the full terms here if you're so inclined, but be warned, it's a long read.
The biggest issue with this change is that Facebook is no longer giving users the power to opt-out of data sharing. You MUST share your WhatsApp data with Facebook. If you decline, you won't be allowed to use the app any longer. This has prompted some to ask if users will continue using the service or not, while other's have already made their decision.
If you use WhatsApp, how will this affect you? I'm still using it, but only because Malaysians seem incapable of using anything else. Telegram is my main messenger and I use it much more than WhatsApp, but as long as the majority of Malaysians use WhatsApp I might be forced to continue using it too. I did consider quitting cold turkey and forcing anybody who wants to contact me to use Telegram (or e-mail), but is that perhaps too drastic and will it inconvenience me (and others) more? Who knows, but I am really annoyed at being forced to use WhatsApp.