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What’s up with WhatsApp?

13 Jan 2021 By ANIRBAN RAY

Users of the popular messaging app WhatsApp are worried as they face a February 8 deadline to accept the platform’s new terms and conditions which many say will compromise their privacy. 

The new policy addresses how user data is used when there is interaction with a business on the platform, and provides more details on the app’s integration with Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company.

Some startled users are already looking at other options and alternatives to WhatsApp like Telegram and Signal.

Mohammad Kaleem, a businessman dealing in computers, cautioned users to read the terms first and then decide whether to use WhatsApp or change to an alternative app. 

“It is indeed a matter of concern that the data will be sold to third parties which can be used for advertising and other promotional activities. I’m thinking of switching to other applications,” he said.

Tariq Hilal al Barwani, an IT expert, said WhatsApp is facing a trust-crisis after it issued an update to its privacy policy, which explains its data sharing with Facebook, and how data is used when a customer interacts with a business on the platform. 

“This was indeed expected to happen as all these are, after all, businesses and conducted to make money. Now people are already addicted to WhatsApp and it is tough for them to avoid it. It is sad, but this is how these social media companies work. I have been telling people that our information and data are always open,” Barwani added.

A new WhatsApp blog post on Tuesday reiterated that while it doesn’t share private messages or location data with Facebook, it clarified that some conversations might be readable and used for advertising. 

The post added that the policy “does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way”.

 

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