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Citizen reporter
1 minute read
13 Jan 2021
10:15 pm

Information Regulator engaging with Facebook SA over WhatsApp update

Citizen reporter

The regulator is looking to ensure whether WhatsApp's privacy policy update is applicable to South African users.

Picture: iStock

After many WhatsApp users raised their concerns over the application’s privacy policy update, Information Regulator South Africa (SA) has stepped to discuss the matter.

In a statement, the Information Regulator confirmed that it made contact with Facebook South Africa to discuss WhatsApp’s privacy policy, which was revised on 4 January, and that engagements were still ongoing.

EXPLAINED: What the new WhatsApp update means for SA users

“In terms of the revised policy, it appears that there are different terms of service and privacy policies for users in the European countries and in non-European countries.

“The regulator will be analysing whether the terms of service and the privacy policies indeed differ and whether the privacy policy applicable to users outside Europe, which include the South African users are in compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

“The regulator will engage with Facebook after the completion of the analysis.”

WhatsApp update

According to the update, WhatsApp was requesting permission from users that would allow its parent company, Facebook, and its subsidiaries, to collect user data from their devices.

This would make users’ personal data more readily available for businesses to target them more specifically, as there would be more integration of Facebook’s other products with WhatsApp.

Users’ phone numbers, IP addresses, and mobile device information are just some of the things expected to be shared with Facebook, according to WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.

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