WhatsApp gives users an ultimatum: share data with Facebook or stop using the app

WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messenger that claims to have privacy coded into its DNA, is giving its 2 billion plus users an ultimatum: agree to share their personal data with the social network or delete their accounts.

The requirement is being delivered through an in-app alert directing users to agree to sweeping changes in the WhatsApp terms of service. Those who don’t accept the revamped privacy policy by February 8 will no longer be able to use the app.

I pretty much have no choice but to accept. Everybody uses WhatsApp – it’s so entrenched in dutch society the app itself has become a verb. Opting out means making it a lot more difficult to talk with my friends, which is already difficult enough considering I live in Sweden now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: crucial communication protocols – of which WhatsApp is one in many countries – must be open and free to be implemented by anyone. It’s pure insanity to me that important lines of communication are left to faceless corporations on the other side of the world.

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