WhatsApp’s Updated Privacy Policy Might Not Ensure The Privacy You Expect

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WhatsApp Privacy Policy
Image Credits: Freepik

WhatsApp’s “take it or leave it” attitude has upset many due to its new and updated privacy policy. Since the start of this week, WhatsApp rolled out its privacy policy and terms of service informing the users how it will now be sharing user data with other Facebook-owned and third-party apps. This update has come with a condition by WhatsApp that if the users refuse to share their data with Facebook, they will have to quit using the app under any circumstances. So if you want to continue using WhatsApp, you will need to agree to the updated privacy policy before February 8. 

What this means is that besides keeping a track of your status, display picture, your online activity, group names, duration and frequency of your activity, WhatsApp in association with Facebook and other third-party apps will also keep a track of your location, device model, operating system, battery level, and browser details. Moreover, it will receive your data through WhatsApp’s new payment feature which will include processing methods, transactions, and shipment data as well. 

WhatsApp Privacy Policy
Image Credits: Business Today

What is the problem with this? 

Since your data will be shared with Facebook and other ‘unidentified’ third-party apps, a serious breach of privacy will occur. Revealing your data will help these companies to make commercial gains, and might also be used to targeting individuals, spreading propaganda and hate messages on Facebook. Another problem in this updated policy is that how, how much, and to who is your personal data being shared also remains undisclosed. 

So what should you really do? 

Updating the privacy policy is a standard practice that is adopted by every software company. So you can accept the new terms and conditions for using WhatsApp if you are okay with your data being accessed by the companies. If not, then you can use alternatives of WhatsApp which are equally good like Signal or Telegram. 

Signal is very similar to WhatsApp, it’s free of cost and has end-to-end encryption of messages. Moreover, it’s run by a non-profit organization and not any big corporation. 

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