Shackpets | Available on iOS and Google Play Store

WhatsApp is forcing users to share data with Facebook

WhatsApp will soon start forcing users to share data with parent company Facebook.


WhatsApp, a universal messaging application, has been a staple name since it released for mobile devices roughly a decade ago. Since then, WhatsApp has seen quite the evolution, including its acquisition by Facebook. To this day, WhatsApp remains one of the most popular messaging services, but users may be turned off by a new update to the app. Soon, WhatsApp will begin forcing players to share their data with Facebook.

An announcement was sent to users on Wednesday, January 6 detailing the upcoming change. WhatsApp will soon be allowing Facebook and its subsidiaries to collect personal data from users. This includes phone numbers, locations, contacts, and more. What’s even more concerning, users do not have the option to opt out of the data collection. If WhatsApp users don’t agree to the new terms by February 8, they’ll lose access to the service.

It’s quite troubling, especially when WhatsApp’s biggest selling point was that it was an encrypted messaging service that offered more privacy than most other digital communication methods. In light of this news, users are already looking for alternatives. A coluple of names that keeps popping up are that of Telegram and Signal.

This is just the latest in a long string of actions that exemplifies troubling behavior in regards to user privacy from Facebook. Just last month, the FTC announced that it would be suing Facebook along with 46 other American states over illegal monopolization. The company’s acquisition of WhatsApp was cited as one of the reasons behind the lawsuit.

It’s yet to be seen how profound of an impact this decision will have on WhatsApp’s user base, or if Facebook could potentially roll back the new changes if given enough backlash from users. If and when further updates come, you can expect to read about them right here on Shacknews.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 7, 2021 8:05 AM

    Donovan Erskine posted a new article, WhatsApp is forcing users to share data with Facebook

    • reply
      January 7, 2021 1:01 PM

      Is anyone else thinking of switching? Signal or Telegram? Or something else?

      • reply
        January 7, 2021 1:27 PM

        Here's my take:

        Signal: Regarded as the most secure but lacks certain features in order to stay that secure, which can be offputting if you aren't Ed Snowden. For most things like basic chat\voice\video, it works great.

        Telegram: Tons of features and robust clients, but is closed-source development and Russian owners/interest mean it may not be as secure as they claim. They are also beginning to monetize the platform which is always iffy.

        Other options: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Discord, Hangouts/Chat all have their own issues.

      • reply
        January 7, 2021 1:29 PM

        Switch to directly contacting the people you care about.

      • reply
        January 7, 2021 3:04 PM

        I have only 3 friends on signal out of like 40 on whatsapp, who are security conscious. Signal is also, kind of shit in many ways :/

      • reply
        January 7, 2021 3:05 PM

        just cutout anyone in your life not using iMessage because they're basically garbage anyways

        • reply
          January 7, 2021 3:16 PM

          It can't even do the stuff whatsapp can, can it? The little GPS paperclip thing so you can all see where each other is easily?

          • reply
            January 7, 2021 4:32 PM

            find friends does it if you want a map view, and you can share your location directly in imessage.

      • reply
        January 7, 2021 4:20 PM

        I joined Signal when one of my friends told me about it. I have never used it, and he has never contacted me on it. Everyone I know is still just using whatever default SMS app came with their phones.

        I just recently switched from using Hangouts for texts to Google Messages (because Google.) As long as I can get SMS messages on my PC via the web I'm good. With Hangouts I got them on the Gmail page, but with Messages I have to open a separate web page. Whatever.

      • reply
        January 7, 2021 4:34 PM


Hello, Meet Lola