WhatsApp may be sharing your payment data with Facebook


In the light of Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, privacy concerns are becoming a major issue worldwide. And to save itself from any backlash, Facebook-owned WhatsApp came forward and said that it collects "very little data" of its users and "every message is end-to-end encrypted."

While this may be true that WhatsApp is not much interested in its users' messages and perhaps doesn't share that with its parent company Facebook, but it does share "information they collect under this Payments Privacy Policy with third-party service providers including Facebook." That is what it says under the terms and conditions that all of us agree to when we download the instant messaging app. WhatsApp also states that it not a licensed financial institution and is not responsible for UPI services.

Here is the full text: "We share information with third-party providers and services to help us operate and improve Payments. To send payment instructions to PSPs, maintain your transaction history, provide customer support, and keep our Services safe and secure, including to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, safety, security, abuse, or other misconduct, we share information we collect under this Payments Privacy Policy with third-party service providers including Facebook.

To provide Payments to you, we share information with third-party services including PSPs, such as your mobile phone number, registration information, device identifiers, VPAs, the sender's UPI PIN, and payment amount." To recall, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014.

With 200 million-plus active users, India is the biggest market for Facebook-owned instant messaging app. WhatsApp rolled out support for Unified Payments Interface (UPI) earlier this year. This is a payments platform in India that allows users to send money to a Virtual Payment Address (VPA).

Facebook last week revealed that it has almost 20 crore users in the country, of which 5.62 lakh people in India were "potentially affected" by global data leak episode involving UK-based Cambridge Analytica. A Facebook spokesperson said that while 335 people in India were directly affected through an app installation, another 562,120 people were potentially affected as friends of those users.

 

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