New WhatsApp Privacy Policy Causes Controversy

New WhatsApp Privacy Policy Causes Controversy

Privacy Policy Causes Controversy

Hi Readers, I hope you had a pleased New Year. So this new year has started with a huge controversy. Our favorite private messaging app, WhatsApp, has updated its privacy policy, and now the public is asking What? How? When? Why? Our Readers do not have to worry because we researched all that has happened and what you need to do about it.

To be honest, this shouldn’t be a shock since the owner company of WhatsApp is no other than Facebook. We believed for a few years that this was inevitable. We got all your answers, so please post till the end to know why this Privacy Policy causes controversy.

Updated Privacy Policy

Whatsapp updated privacy policy

The Privacy Policy has added several new rules that are causing controversy. This update page looks pretty tiny, but it’s not. If you get to the main details page, you will get an up to 3900 words long document to read, which is purposefully stretched to such a length that the average user won’t have time to read it.

The Policy accepting popup states in simple terms. You have to accept this policy, or else you can no longer use the app after 8-Feb-2021. The popup also says that WhatsApp does not intend to display ads on its platform, but it will notify you whenever. The popup also doesn’t have an opt-out option not to accept the terms. The new terms and conditions of the app are not acceptable for many people who value their privacy, and this is why the new WhatsApp Privacy Policy Causes Controversy.

What does the Policy Say?

privacy policy statement

This Privacy Policy states that from 8-Feb-2021, WhatsApp will share its data or rather the user’s data with its owner company Facebook. This change is an unacceptable thing for many users because WhatsApps popularity was that of end-to-end encryption. This Policy invalidates that claim by WhatsApp.

In 2014 when Facebook bought WhatsApp for 22 billion dollars, WhatsApp clearly stated that it would share as little data with Facebook as possible. WhatsApp also said that they would never show ads on their platform, but now they have changed their claim saying they will notify you when they want to show ads on WhatsApp. This claim just further confirms they intend to display ads in the future.

How will Facebook use this Data?

When did it all start

Once this policy comes into effect, Facebook will have a new massive wave of data to work with and manipulate. The Policy clearly states that Facebook can now use the data from WhatsApp to help advertisers target you better, but directly they can even sell this data to other companies. As you probably know, Facebook’s dealing with companies like Cambridge Analytica.

If any company has a business account on WhatsApps, WhatsApp can view the users who communicate with those companies using WhatsApp. This statement from WhatsApp has created even more significant controversy. Because you contacted a company via WhatsApp and forwarded them some crucial details, those details can be leaked out from that particular company to WhatsApp or maybe others.

Why is this a Concerning matter?

Why is this a concerning matter

This matter is very concerning. Once you know the list of data items Facebook is now collecting, the list is as follows.

  • Full Name
  • Profile Picture or any picture you have shared
  • Messages
  • About Description
  • Contact information
  • IP Address
  • Even the Strength of the Wifi Signal
  • Also, whoever is connected to that particular wifi signal.

These details are a significant infringement on anybody’s privacy from WhatsApp. Because of these infringements, the public is outraged and why you should look into some good alternatives to WhatsApp. These details imply that these companies are doing 24-hour surveillance on you. Even if you are not a WhatsApp user, your privacy is breached as Facebook now knows through WhatsApp which wifi connection you are connected to and the IP address of that connection. It is not confirmed yet but speculations are that Facebook can also record WhatsApp video calls, WhatsApp voice messages, and other WhatsApp Features

When Did This All Start?

As you probably know that WhatsApp showed you this popup before in July 2020, but then it had a big difference. Back then, there was an option for opting out from your data being shared with Facebook. We do know that back when Facebook first acquired WhatsApp in 2014. Facebook planned this all along. We should have been aware that this is going to happen sometime in the future.

Final Conclusion

Facebook planned all along to make WhatsApp its central data collection platform, just like Instagram and messenger. The Mega-Corporation has been using the same strategy against all of its competition. They are buying their competition and reducing alternate options for their users. The lack of competition to Facebook is the most critical factor to be careful of and why you should look into some alternatives to WhatsApp.

By Faizan Elahi Qureshi

Student of Digital Marketing.