WhatsApp New Privacy Policy 2021: My way or the highway

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WhatsApp new privacy policy, that will take effect on February 8, 2021, compels its users to either accept the terms or lose all the data and the account.

People have been concerned about their privacy and how Facebook uses its customer’s data, since a long time.

Following the same topic, recently Mark Zukerberg was in debate with Tim Cook. The matter became so serious that Facebook even removed the “blue tick” from Apple’s facebook page.

But after the WhatsApp new privacy policy update, we think the company really crossed its boundary. Facebook-owned WhatsApp is trying to impose a rule that violates the privacy of its customers.

Let’s talk about the same topic and how using Facebook and its services is not safe anymore.

WhatsApp new privacy policy : The notification that shook everyone

On Tuesday evening, WhatsApp informed its new Terms of Service and Privacy policy with a notification that was sent to Android as well as iOS users.

The notification came with details about WhatsApp service and the way they process our data, how businesses can make use of various Facebook platforms to store and manage their whatsapp chats and how WhatsApp pairs with Facebook to provide integrations across the Facebook Company Products. 

Also Read: eSewa Data Breach(2020): Is our money safe in eSewa?

WhatsApp’s Take it or Leave it Behaviour

At first glance, you might feel like “Okay, WhatsApp is just trying to provide us a better user experience”.

But the matter is more serious than it seems. In the name of greater service, WhatsApp is trying to force us to accept its rules.

The instant messaging platform has also threatened to delete one’s account and all the data if they don’t agree with the changes.

On the bottom of the message, you can only choose from “Agree” and “Not now”. The company didn’t even feel the necessity to put a “Deny” option.

This proves how Facebook is dictating its users and that’s what made us so furious about this update.

Did every WhatsApp user receive this notification?

Users from 27 European countries didn’t get such notification. The reason being, General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) in EU countries which doesn’t allow sharing a user data to a third party. As we Nepalese don’t have such a policy, we will need to hand over all our information to WhatsApp which it will further share with different Facebook’s services.

Is WhatsApp monitoring our activity?

When the company first came into existence, it only stored the phone number of its users. But after the takeover of Facebook, the messaging app went through several big updates.

However, the 5th January 2021 update was really disappointing. From now on, WhatsApp will automatically store all your activity.

This includes how long you use WhatsApp, at what time you use the app most often, your messages with other WhatsApp users, location, groups that you’ve joined, profile photo, personal interests along with performance reports and log files.

That means whatever you do is being saved somewhere on the internet and that’s scary.

Not only that, there is various information that WhatsApp collects from your device as soon as it’s installed.

This includes your phone model, OS information, app version, signal strength, battery level, browser information, language and timezone, IP address, device operators information, identifiers and mobile network.

It also stores your connection information such as phone number and mobile operator or ISP. All of this information is provided in WhatsApp’s official website.

Is WhatsApp safe?

Though WhatsApp stores all our data, that information is end to end encrypted. And these encrypted files cannot be read by anybody except you and the person you are sending a message to.Furthermore, the datasets are safely saved to Facebook’s data centers and other storage facilities. Even Facebook can’t read our messages as every WhatsApp chat has a security pin that verifies the calls or chats. 

But there’s a catch. It’s true that WhatsApp chats are safe and end to end encrypted, however the backup of your files and messages on Google drive and iCloud doesn’t have such security. That means there is a chance of your data getting leaked.

WhatsApp’s explanation about this update

One of the reasons behind this update is WhatsApp stepping into online transaction business.

It has already launched payment services in many countries including India. WhatsApp has also clarified that this update has been made so that we could safely send or receive money.

With the help of these datas, WhatsApp can process more information about you, transaction, payment account and identify if you are sending money to the right person.

What we think

These tons of datas will provide Facebook an insight of people’s behaviour and what they like. This will allow them to run more relevant ads on our screen. In our opinion, only the company is getting benefited by this update and we people are being victims of data theft. 

Also Read: Best Smartphones Under 15,000 in Nepal

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