New WhatsApp Policy - Is it Good or Bad? | 2021's Update
New WhatsApp Policy - Is it Good or Bad? | 2021's Update
Would you be okay with sharing your personal information with a stranger or whom you know very little about? What if I say your very personal and important information is already being shared with hundreds or maybe thousands of companies without you knowing it. Surprised? Well, with the new Whatsapp policy that's true and you are the ones who allow them to do it, keeping your privacy at stake.

You would have noticed that when you install any app on your device, it asks you to read and accept its Terms and Conditions including its Privacy Policy before using it. But tell me honestly, how many of us actually spare a minute and read those policies? The number is negligible. Can you imagine the consequences of allowing them everything, do with your data just like that? Let's see.

Take alone one of the most popular chatting app-WhatsApp. WhatsApp is famous because it assures its users of complete data privacy, the data transferred here is end-to-end encrypted and moreover, it's free to use. So where's the problem?

The problem is in the Updated Terms and Conditions of WhatsApp. WhatsApp has updated its privacy policy recently on 4th January 2021 and it adds that the terms should be agreed and accepted by the users until February 8th, failing which users may not be able to access their account. This new Whatsapp policy has drawn the attention of many, especially after the Tesla CEO Elon Musk's "Use Signal" tweet.

Today in this blog, I'll walk you through the details of the updated and new WhatsApp policy, its effects on user's privacy, and if it's time one should look for its alternatives. But before we make a move towards it I would like you to know a bit about what does "Use Signal" actually implies.

The "Use Signal" Tweet

signal - New Whatsapp Policy - SocialMirror

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's "Use Signal" tweet came on January 7th, just after the announcement of the updated privacy policy of the instant chatting app: WhatsApp(4th Jan) which implied switching to the chatting app "Signal" to better protect your data. Now, this triggered many minds to actually look into the problem with the new WhatsApp policy.

What's In New WhatsApp Policy?

what's new - New Whatsapp Policy - SocialMirror

WhatsApp is sending an in-app notification after the update announcement that says,

"WhatsApp is updating its terms and privacy policy."

It further adds-

"By tapping Agree, you accept the new terms and privacy policy, which take effect on February 8, 2021. After this date, you'll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp. You can also visit the Help Center if you would prefer to delete your account and would like more information"

In simple words, WhatsApp is going to update its privacy policy which according to them, is quite usual and not to be worried about as it's gonna do no harm to the users' data privacy. At the same time, it is forcing users to accept the new terms and conditions before February 8th, 2021, or else lose access to their accounts. Strange or weird, you decide.

Well! let's see the key points from the update. It mentions-

  • WhatsApp's service and how it processes user's data
  • How businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats
  • And, How WhatsApp partners with its parent company Facebook, to offer integrations across the Facebook Company Products.

It clearly says WhatsApp will share your data with Facebook, but to what extent? Have a look at what WhatsApp stores to share.

Data That Will Be Shared

data sharing - New Whatsapp Policy - SocialMirror

The app collects so much information about your activity on its services that you will be shocked to know about it. Information about how you use its Services, your Services settings, how you interact with others using those Services, your interaction with a business, if any, the time, frequency, and duration of your activities are all there in the list. Oh, wait! that's not it, there's much more.

It also stores information about when you registered on WhatsApp; the features you use like messaging, calling, your Status, groups details including group name, group picture, group description, your profile photo, and "about" information and when you last updated it, whether you are online or not, your "last seen".

To add to your surprise, if you use the payments services or do financial transactions on WhatsApp, it stores your payment account and transaction information as well which includes information about your payment method, shipping details, transaction amount, etc.

All this information will be shared by Facebook which in turn can go in any hand through Facebook. So, how secure do you think your data is?

Read the Detailed WhatsApp privacy policy for more information.

Data: Fuel Of New Era

We are emphasizing this much on user's data privacy because it's the fuel to the new Marketing World. Every company today wants to get user's data and know about their activity details, their purchasing behavior, and everything so that they can customize their products accordingly and reach you much much more, influencing to get their products.

Maybe, till here you take it as normal but what if your bank details got shared? I hope that's not so normal.

Coming back to our topic, you must know why people hesitate to share their details with Facebook. It collects so much of your data from under your eyes and sells them at a very high cost to third parties and then you have no control over how they're gonna use it.

Facebook bought WhatsApp at so much higher price than it's worth why because it had the vision that it could get so much of user's data from it very easily. Now, if Facebook gets all those data stored with WhatsApp, can you think of the profit they are gonna have? Understood, nothing in today's world comes for free?

What are the Alternatives of WhatsApp?

alternatives - New Whatsapp Policy - SocialMirror

Whether to agree or not to the new WhatsApp policy is, of course, your call but I can always help you with finding its alternatives in case you are making up your mind about switching to another chatting app. Here are some of the alternatives of WhatsApp, you can use

Signal

The most highlighted alternative nowadays is in this regard is Signal. The reason behind this is already been explained previously. Let's see the features of this app and why you should opt for it.

Signal, is a centralized encrypted messaging service developed by the Signal Foundation and Signal messenger and was launched in July 2014.

Key Features:

  • Available as Android, iOS, and web app for desktops
  • Uses the internet to send messages
  • Can also be used for(one-to-one or group) voice and video calls with up to 8 people
  • Can transfer files, voice notes, images, GIFs, and videos
  • Data shared is automatically end-to-end encrypted, keys used to encrypt are stored at the endpoints i.e. users, and not to Signal's servers
  • Free and open source
  • Allows setting timers to messages(after which the messages will be deleted from sender's and receiver's end)
  • Uses phone number for verification, hence eliminating the need for username and password.
  • In-built image editing features including adding text to your outgoing photos.

Telegram

Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging software and application service. It is more common among people as compared to Signal since it came way before Signal, in 2013, and also it offers much more than simply transferring texts and files. Let's see the cool features Telegram provides-

Key Features:

  • Instant end-to-end encrypted data sharing(including secret chats) and calls
  • Available for both mobile phones and desktops
  • Can transfer text, voice messages, gifs, stickers, an unlimited number of images, documents, user locations, contacts, and music files, etc.

Get A complete guide on Telegram here on SocialMirror.

 

This was all about the new Whatsapp Policy. What do you guys feel about it, let us know in the comments section below? For more interesting posts, please do check them at SocialMirror.

 

YOUR REACTION?