In a country where mobile devices are abundant, and often the only way to get connected, WhatsApp Business offers local companies the use of an existing app on people’s phones to communicate at scale and provide improved customer service through quick replies, automated messages and compelling status updates.
What data is collected
Examples of other data linked to users on WhatsApp (extracted from the app information on the app store under “App Privacy”) include: Contact info, Contacts, Identifiers, Location, Usage data, Diagnostics, and User content (where it links to Facebook content for example). WhatsApp reiterated that all messages are end-to-end encrypted and are not shared with the Facebook group of companies.
What businesses need to do
However, unlike a WhatsApp conversation between two users, which is protected by encryption, WhatsApping a business means that a number of people within the organisation might have access to messages. Furthermore, these conversations can be stored by business applications, such as for customer relationship management, and even shared with third-party service providers – including Facebook – to help better manage customer communications.
This has anyway been a requirement for businesses in South Africa as per the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA), which regulates how user information is to be collected, used, stored and protected – and comes into full effect in July 2021.
The full updated WhatsApp policy for users outside the European Region is here: https://www.whatsapp.com/legal/updates/privacy-policy