WhatsApp is set to bring in new terms of service from 8 February 2021, and the changes are significant. Furthermore there is no option to opt out; if you don't approve the new terms of use by that date, you simply won't be able to use WhatsApp.

The first indications that WhatsApp was planning to change its terms of use - and insist that users agree to the changes - were there at the beginning of December 2020. But the details have become clearer: users must allow WhatsApp to share all of their data with all Facebook companies. Up to now, users have been able to opt out of this, but that's all set to change on 8 February.

In the notification screen, users are referred to a page on the WhatsApp website. There it says, among other things: "Many businesses rely on WhatsApp to communicate with their customers and clients. We work with businesses that use Facebook or third parties to help store and better manage their communications with you on WhatsApp."

What data is shared with all Facebook companies can be found in the updated privacy policy page.

There, WhatsApp users are informed that they are "providing" the following information: account information, messages, "connections" (groups and uploaded contacts), status information, transactions and payment data, device and connection data, location information and usage information.

If these changes have put you off the prospect of using WhatsApp any longer, one alternative you might like to consider is Signal. But if you decide to stick with it, here's how to use WhatsApp on Mac.

This all presents an opportunity to Apple - read: Apple iMessage for Android: the time has come.

This article originally appeared on Macwelt. Translation by David Price.