On Friday, 26 August, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said that while some users may see the change as a positive one for the service, others may be "concerned by the lack of control".
"The changes Whatsapp and Facebook are making will affect a lot of people," Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, who was recently appointed in April, said in a statement. "Our role is to pull back the curtain on things like this, ensuring that companies are being transparent with the public about how the personal data is being shared, and protecting consumers by making sure the law is being followed."
Although organisations are not required to get the ICO's permission when changing how they handle user's data, changes do need to remain within data protection laws, Denham said.
The company maintains that its end-to-end encryption system will remain in place, so users' messages and images will remain private.
When WhatsApp was bought by Facebook back in 2014, the company pledged not to share user data with its new parent. This reversal has now sparked massive backlash from Whatsapp users with many threatening to leave the service for its rivals.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington has filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission arguing that companies must obtain users' opt-in consent prior to changing any data practices.