WhatsApp terms of service adjustments 2021 – what you really need to know!

 In News

In the new year, WhatsApp has updated its terms of service for the messaging app, which will come into force on May 15, 2021. With the consent, the user now grants, among other things, that certain data can also be shared with Facebook companies and Facebook service providers. But what will really change for users of the world’s most popular messaging service? First of all, very little will change for private communication. 

WhatsApp terms of service & privacy policy adjustments 2021

At the beginning of the year, WhatsApp updated its terms of service and privacy policy and prominently informed its 2 billion users worldwide via a pop-up in the messaging app. Currently, this information can be clicked away without confirmation, but it must be accepted by May 15, 2021, if you want to continue using the app.

Driven by unfortunately often misleading media reports and user postings in the various social networks, there is currently confusion about the changes, even outrage about the “data octopus” Facebook. In the past, the company was often rightly criticized for its handling of user data, but in the current case, objective differentiation is appropriate – at least for WhatsApp users within the EU. For here, strong data protection measures continue to be in place to protect European users from unjustified data exchange. But let’s take it one step at a time.

If you are based outside the European Region, WhatsApp LLC provides the services under this Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. In this Privacy Policy, you find the detailed list of collected information and how it is used by WhatsApp.

1. What data is affected?

By agreeing to the new terms of service, the user now grants, among other things, that certain data may also be shared with Facebook companies and Facebook service providers in order to connect WhatsApp with other Facebook company products; to ensure the security and integrity of all Facebook company products; and to improve ad and product experiences with respect to Facebook company products.

The information includes, for example:

  • account registration information (such as your phone number)
  • transaction data
  • service-related information
  • information about how you interact with others (including other companies)


❗ The changes must be considered in a differentiated way.

1. This exchange of metadata is not new

2. It does not affect users within the EU, since on the one hand the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) applies here and on the other hand the agreement with the EU antitrust authority on the takeover of WhatsApp by Facebook in 2014 prohibits a transfer of data.

WhatsApp has also explicitly confirmed publicly:

[…] No changes to WhatsApp’s data sharing practices in the European region (including the UK) resulting from the updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. For the avoidance of doubt, it remains the case that WhatsApp does not share WhatsApp user data from the European region with Facebook so that Facebook can use this data to improve its products or ads.

WhatsApp AGB Update EU

WhatsApp once again directly and concretely comments on the public and media criticism (Quelle: https://faq.whatsapp.com/general/security-and-privacy/answering-your-questions-about-whatsapps-privacy-policy)

Due to misleading reports, Niamh Sweeney (Director of Policy for WhatsApp, EMEA) also spoke out very clearly on Twitter and clarified the situation:


3. If you are based outside the European Region, WhatsApp LLC provides the Services to you under this Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. In this Privacy Policy, you find the list of collected information and how it is used by WhatsApp.

2. WhatsApp Business terms of service & privacy policy – what really changes!

In a FAQ article, WhatsApp explains the changes to the terms and conditions and the implications for businesses: The terms of service changes primarily affect WhatsApp’s expanded offer for businesses. The changes to the WhatsApp terms and conditions are intended to ensure security. Specifically, it is about the Facebook hosting service, the new possibilities such as shops and shopping baskets on the topic of conversational commerce via WhatsApp, and how users communicate with businesses via WhatsApp.

💡 So it’s less about private communication with friends and family on WhatsApp, but more about communication between customers and companies via WhatsApp. Service providers such as MessengerPeople ensure the GDPR-compliant use and processing of this data. 

Read more about WhatsApp data protection for businesses in our editorial WhatsApp and data protection in customer communication – Everything you need to know!

Your professional solution is the Messenger Communication Platform

With our software solution, you can use WhatsApp in a data protection-compliant and scalable way. We take care of GDPR-compliant data storage and processing and work with you to ensure that your Messenger service is legally compliant. The Messenger Communication Platform is immediately usable and browser-based. It offers all the necessary features for efficient customer communication. You can process and answer all messages centrally, regardless of the messenger. The requests can be assigned to colleagues manually as tickets or automatically via auto-routing. Our Chatbot Builder helps you and your company to make customer dialogue even more efficient with targeted automation via bot, for example when it comes to pre-qualifying a customer and their inquiry.

You can get a first impression of our product here:


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