This data sharing does not apply in Europe as it violates our privacy laws. Elsewhere in the world, phone numbers of users, IP address and device data can be shared with Facebook.
The update, including mandatory approval, was not well received and accompanied by a surge in Signal downloads. This competing app prides itself on the security and privacy of its users.
In its blog post, WhatsApp emphasizes that messages will remain encrypted and that the service will not see them, let alone share them with Facebook.