Why is WhatsApp Privacy Change a Concern? Things to Know
So, now the people will either have to live with those privacy concerns in the back of their mind or if they don’t comply, will be forced to switch to some other messaging service for good. To be precise, it’s either Facebook’s way or the highway for the users!
When Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion, they vowed user privacy protection, and that no changes would be made to it. The messaging app’s data was however shared by default with Facebook for better ad targeting – but the users could opt-out any time without any strings attached. Now, the tables have turned (outside of Europe at least) as the opt-out option is going to be completely removed by February 8. Decline the new policies and you’ll no longer be able to use WhatsApp at all.
The U-turn from the “respect for your privacy” DNA of the app with the end-to-end encryption across chats right since 2016 is disappointing, to say the least. Obviously, the app has landed in the wrong hands, and now Facebook is doing everything to exploit user data for its own revenue generating motives that have deep roots in how the business model operates.
Not only this, the app will share information to the parent company Facebook about the groups you are participating in, real-time status, profile photo or even the data about your online status on the app. If that wasn’t enough, WhatsApp has a separate section in the new policy by the name “Transactions and Payments data.” If you’ve already assumed, then let us tell you for the sake of it – the information of your payments made through the app will also be stored. Facebook claims to use this just for analysis purpose and let’s hope it stay that way – in the worst-case scenario.
While as the unassuming user you might think that has no repercussions but experts know there’s a lot to lose in the long run as your personal data is now exposed to even more possibilities of exploitation even though Facebook would not inherently want to do that, but in the online space things aren’t as simple as they seem.
Is there Alternatives to WhatsApp?
We live in a digitalized world with many applications around us even some we don’t notice. With Whatsapp having over 2.2 billion users, it was reported that majority of the users are not from America.
After the user privacy was updated, there have been exodus of people from the platform to other applications like Signal, Telegram, Reditt etc
Signal is a cross-platform messaging app developed by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC is similar to WhatsApp in more ways than one. You can send private or group messages to buddies and family – including the capability to send files, pictures, audio files or make voice/video calls. Add to that features like onscreen privacy options, anti-surveillance tools and disappearing messages and you might actually fancy the service.