WhatsApp is changing today – Users must give the app permission to send their private data to Facebook or lose account

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WhatsApp was bought by Facebook in 2014, but has thrived while promoting itself as a privacy-respecting messaging app that now has 1.5b monthly active users. This week, though, WhatApp sent out an update to users’ phones that they must ‘consent’ to a new policy or lose access.

Whatsapp will now share more of your data, including your IP address (your location) and phone number, your account registration information, your transaction data, and service-related data, interactions on WhatsApp, and other data collected based on your consent, with Facebook’s other companies. Facebook has been working towards more closely integrating Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

Users who do not agree to ‘consent’ to the new policy will see their WhatsApp account become inaccessible until they do ‘consent.’ These accounts will remain dormant for 120 days after which they will be ‘deleted.’

The biggest change to the user policy, which many people ignored and clicked ‘agree’ to, thinking it was just another unimportant app update message, now reads,

‘We collect information about your activity on our Services, like service-related, diagnostic, and performance information. This includes information about your activity (including how you use our Services, your Services settings, how you interact with others using our Services (including when you interact with a business), and the time, frequency, and duration of your activities and interactions), log files, and diagnostic, crash, website, and performance logs and reports. This also includes information about when you registered to use our Services; the features you use like our messaging, calling, Status, groups (including group name, group picture, group description), payments or business features; profile photo, “about” information; whether you are online, when you last used our Services (your “last seen”); and when you last updated your “about” information.’

Notably, Elon Musk tweeted on the news, saying that WhatsApp users should switch to Signal, one of several popular privacy-focused messaging apps similar to WhatsApp.

The data sharing policy change doesn’t affect people in Europe due to GDPR data protection regulations.

Abortion legalized in Argentina

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Previously in the country abortion was only legal in rape cases and when the mother’s health was in danger, but now it’s legal as a choice until 14 weeks into a pregnancy. Just two years ago the Argentinian senate most recently voted against legalizing abortion. Abortion had been illegal in the country since 1921.

The senate vote was a split decision, 38-29-1, taken after a 12-hour debate. During the debate large crowds of campaigners on both sides of the issue assembled outside Congress in Buenos Aires.

The Latin Church opposed the Catholic country’s move, but Argentinian center-left President Alberto Fernández had made reintroducing the abortion bill one of his campaign promises, stating at one point “I’m Catholic but I have to legislate for everyone.”

The president also commented on the health facet of the issue, stating that 3000 women had died in the past 40 years due to clandestine abortion procedures, and almost 40,000 women each year make trips to the hospital as a result of such procedures.

The vote was also noteworthy because several Congresspeople, who had been undecided or who had voted against previous legalization bills, voted in favor of legalization this time. One such, Senator Silvina García Larraburu, stated “My vote is in favour of free women, of women who can decide according to their own conscience.”

Arguing for the other side, senator Inés Blas said, “The interruption of a pregnancy is a tragedy. It abruptly ends another developing life.”

The change in law was brought about largely by the country’s grassroots “green wave,” part of Argentina’s growing women’s movement. These activists have been working toward abortion legalization for 15 years and have introduced seven similar bills over that time to Congress without success.

In legalizing abortion on request, Argentinia follows in Latin America Cuba, Guyana, Puerto Rico, some Mexican States, and most recently Uruguay, who legalized abortion in 2012.

Many have noted that pro-abortion activists in other Latin American countries, where similar abortion laws exist, will see the Argentinian vote as a possible precedent for change.

Swiss Court Fines Man for Liking Defamatory Comment

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The original post on Facebook was about whether animal rights groups should be allowed to take part in vegan street festivals, and it became discussed heatedly.

Several people were fined by the courts for making comments it deemed defamatory, and one man was fined for “liking” some comments which accused an animal rights activist of racism and antisemitism.

That activist was Erwin Kessler, who brought the lawsuit against the participants.

According to the court, “the defendant clearly endorsed the unseemly content and made it his own,” when he hit the “like” button.