This new emerged very recently at the start of 2021. Many users had significant concerns with sharing their data with Facebook. The main issue that users cited was Facebook's long history of privacy and data issues.
WhatsApp has been going from strength to strength over recent months. Given the various lockdown across the globe, more individuals had turned to WhatsApp for voice and video calls to stay connected. This culminated in a record-breaking number of calls over the new year's period for the app.
This means that a potential privacy scandal is the last thing that WhatsApp wanted to deal with right now. Hence why the company has released a post in order to try and curb any problems this change could cause.
WhatsApp issued the post on its website in its words to dispel "some of the rumors going around". The company has told users that the policy update will not affect their privacy. This is due to the fact that personal messages have protection from end-to-end encryption.
What this means is that WhatsApp or Facebook cannot read your messages or see your shared location. The company has pointed out that the change in the policy only relates to the optional feature of messaging a business.
This then only applies to users choosing to use WhatsApp's commerce features. In this case, Facebook may use your shopping activity in the personalized ads it shows you on its platforms.
The statement says that WhatsApp has given businesses "the option to use secure hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers".
If this has still left you unconvinced and wish to not have Facebook accessing your data in this way you are somewhat short of options. The only real way out is to stop using WhatsApp all together and switch to an alternative.
This is unlikely something that many of use will do WhatsApp probably will ride this one out. However, some of the backlash has shown that if the company goes much further it could face some problems.