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WhatsApp is forcing users to agree to sharing information with Facebook if they want to keep using the service.

WhatsApp is forcing users to agree to sharing information with Facebook if they want to keep using the service.

The company warns users in a pop-up notice that they “need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp” – or delete their accounts.

But Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, said European and UK users would not see the same data-sharing changes, although they will need to accept new terms.

The exception has been welcomed by some as a victory for EU privacy regulators.

The deadline in both regions to accept the change is 8 February, after which “you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp”, the company said in the pop-up alert to users.

A section of the international privacy policy has been removed, which previously let people opt out of sharing personal information with Facebook for the first 30 days after the changes went live.

Instead, the latest alert points users to its online help centre “if you would prefer to delete your account”.

The move has prompted some people online – including Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk – to call for users to switch to other more privacy-focused messaging services like Signal and Telegram.

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