WhatsApp New Privacy & Policy – WhatsApp Privacy Change

Whatsapp new privacy policy updates and Whatsapp alternatives are the talk of today. The start of 2021 saw Whatsapp new privacy policy updates that will facilitate Whatsapp to share users data with the tech giant Facebook. Users are going all out to find Whatsapp alternatives.

Whatsapp privacy policy update has caused some concerns among users. Whatsapp saw a sudden drop in user as millions turn to Telegram and Signal. In a spectrum of 72 hours alone, more than 25 million new users from around the world joined Telegram.

According to a screenshot posted on Signals’ Twitter Account, downloads of the app on the Google Play Store jumped from ten million into more than 50 million in a single day on January 12 and that caused the app to crash.

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After updating its policy, which stirred privacy concerns among users, Whatsapp came back to clarify that it’s not giving all users’ data to Facebook.  The company has published a new FAQ page to its website outlining its stances on user privacy in response to widespread backlash over an upcoming privacy policy. The main issue relates to Whatsapp’s data-sharing processes with Facebook, with many users concerned about an updated privacy policy going into effect on February 8th will mandate sharing of sensitive profile information with Whatsapp’s parent company. The company has already extended the date.

Apple CEO; Tim Cook has once said, in his 2018 keynote address at a privacy conference in Brussels.  “Every day, billions of dollars change hands, and countless decisions are made, on the basis of our likes and dislikes, our friends and families, our relationships and conversations, our wishes and fears, our hopes and dreams. These scraps of data, each one harmless enough on its own, are carefully assembled, synthesized, traded, and sold.”

In December 2020, Facebook launched a campaign blasting Apple on its new anti-tracking privacy policy to implement a new opt-in requirement for users with iOS 14 devices to grant permission to be tracked for advertising purposes.

WhatsApp Privacy Policy Change

Facebook was framing the dispute as one that will harm millions of small businesses that use its social networks to reach potential customers, and alleges that Apple is making it harder for advertisers to track consumers in order to boost its own profits. The company went to as far as publishing a page on its site featuring testimonials from SMB customers who claim their businesses will be hurt by the iOS 14 privacy feature changes. 

Today, Facebook appalling track record on privacy and its reputation for befuddling changes to its various terms of service agreements has resulted in a full-blown Whatsapp backlash that has users run away to competitors like signal and telegram.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has even jumped into the fray tweeting last week “Use Signal to his more than 42 million followers and consequently Signal has become one of the most downloaded apps on Android and IOS.

WhatsApp executives, as well as Instagram chief Adam Mosseri and Facebook AR / VR head Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, are now trying to set the record straight, perhaps a little too late.

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data,” the company writes on the new FAQ page.

The company also stresses in the FAQ that neither Facebook nor WhatsApp read users’ message logs or listen to their calls, and that WhatsApp doesn’t store user location data or share contact information with Facebook

WhatsApp chief Will Cathcart also posted on Twitter trying to explain what’s actually going on.

“With end-to-end encryption, we cannot see your private chats or calls and neither can Facebook. We’re committed to this technology and committed to defending it globally,” Cathcart wrote. “It’s important for us to be clear this update describes business communication and does not change WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook. It does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world.”

Furthermore in response to the controversy, WhatsApp has issued a lengthy statement clarifying that the updated privacy policy “does not change WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook”:

“As we announced in October, WhatsApp wants to make it easier for people to both make a purchase and get help from a business directly on WhatsApp. While most people use WhatsApp to chat with friends and family, increasingly, people are reaching out to businesses. To further increase transparency, we updated the privacy policy to describe that going forward; businesses can choose to receive secure hosting services from our parent company Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp. Though, of course, it remains up to the user whether they want to message a business on WhatsApp.

The update does not change WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world. WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy. We are communicating directly with users through WhatsApp about these changes so they have time to review the new policy over the course of the next month.”

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