WhatsApp New Privacy Policy and Its Impacts on Users

WhatsApp, one of the magnificent platforms, social media has bestowed us with, is a free messaging app enabling you to make quick voice as well as video calls, send and receive messages and make informative groups. To avail of this beneficiary app, you need nothing, just a Wi-Fi connection. With 2 billion active users, WhatsApp is popular in the entire world.

 What’s the new policy of WhatsApp?

WhatsApp has been a Facebook subsidiary since 2014. Buying WhatsApp from its former owners Brian Acton and Jan koum, Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to the terms of services (TOS) of the application, which will be implemented from February 8th, 2021. According to this new policy of WhatsApp, it will be allowed to integrate the data of the user, available on Facebook as well as of WhatsApp. After the data is integrated, the parent app (Facebook) will be authorized to share your data including your messages. Both apps will be able to analyze the user's contacts on WhatsApp, his/her interactions, and the WhatsApp group he/she belongs to.

Why is it a concern for users?

 WhatsApp’s notion to share user’s data has shattered users right to privacy as an individual. Once you agree to this new proposed plan of WhatsApp, the application has complete access to your basic information which includes

• Complete access to location

• Access to your every chat whether it’s personal or not.

• Information on your battery usage.

• If you are using WhatsApp transaction services, FB will be able to associate your bank account and card details that are being enrolled in WhatsApp.

• Details of your IP (internet protocol) address.

• Particulars of your app version.

App version, language, time zone, device operation information, mobile model, profile photo, about information are incorporated in the list as well.

Why is WhatsApp adopting this?

The owner of WhatsApp, Mark Zuckerberg has not done this for the first time. Previously, he had homogenized the two applications: FB messenger and Instagram in October 2020. Now after the success of this fusion, Mark decided to apply this on WhatsApp to monopolize the data of users to US companies.

How it has affected the number of Users?

This new policy has been well understood by the users and with constant awareness creeping into their educated heads, a large number of people have uninstalled the application and are looking for other options. The outrage had enormously stressed WhatsApp, has millions of users abandoned the app. However, the actual number of users forsaking the app is unknown. Surveys are being conducted to determine the number.

What if you don’t agree with this new policy?

On January 13th, WhatsApp, noticing disapproval from a large sum of users, has announced that chats will be end to end encrypted. However, still, this data sharing extension makes your personal information vulnerable to exposure. So, if you don’t agree with this new policy of WhatsApp, you can simply delete the app, and look for other alternative apps.

What are the alternatives I can switch to?

There are some alternative apps you can simply switch onto. Following are some apps, that are relatively safe and private:

BiP

BiP is a Turkish app that is sustainable, safe, and convenient to use. According to the Turkish government, this app has gained 1.12 million users in just 24 hours with mounting its total users to 53 million worldwide.

Telegram

Telegram, which was started in Russia and later moved to Germany. It’s registered as both English LLP as well as American LLP. But unfortunately, due to a lack of complete information, the app has been banned by the Pakistan government. So local citizens might not be able to use it.

Signal

The signal app, currently owned by American cryptographers, Brian Acton (former owner of WhatsApp) and Marlinspike. It’s also quite reliable and guarantees to secure users’ data. You can easily use these apps, but the problem relies on if you can persuade your contacts to move on to the particular app, you are planning to use. Or, you can also enjoy alone on the particular app.

This Informative Article is written by Syeda Rabia Batool Naqvi.