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WhatsApp forces users to accept invasive privacy policy

WhatsApp is one of the most popular and widely used messaging apps. In 2016, Facebook officially acquired WhatsApp after they have announced their plans in buying WhatsApp. However, managing the said messaging app is not as smooth as it seems. 

Facebook was involved in controversies regarding user data mismanagement and has faced several legal actions. 

Back then, WhatsApp was a great opportunity to get out of the disturbing sharing user data. However, just recently, WhatsApp has announced and sent a non-routine in-app notification update about its new terms, conditions and privacy policy stating that users of the app are given only up to February 8 to accept their new terms. If not, they will no longer be able to access their WhatsApp. 

What does WhatsApp new privacy policy mean?

The new privacy policy states that Facebook will have more access and manage user data of WhatsApp. Furthermore, it will also be able to share user data to other companies. In fact, WhatsApp have stated, “We may use the information we received from them and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support and market our Services and their offerings.”

By accepting these terms, you will provide legal access to Facebook to use your personal data. This would include your phone number, your contacts, profile information, transactions with third party businesses and routine data logs. However, the user to user conversations are said to remain end-to-end encrypted. Unfortunately, many users think that this does not matter especially when the biggest social media giant will be able to collect and sell information about you. 

Furthermore, data analytics could be used for them to check and study on the current trends and tailor ads. Though these seem great perks, it could come with the price of your personal privacy. 

Though there were a lot of legal terms that were included in the updated terms, WhatsApp did not state how these changes will affect the user. 

WhatsApp have released an FAQ segment to clarify the issue. They have mentioned that the update will not give WhatsApp or Facebook permission to see any of your personal messages or listen to your calls nor see your location but rather, the update will be focusing on user’s communication with businesses. 

Though this could be reassuring, there are a lot of terms that seem to remain unclear. The ability to access your contacts’ information still remains a concern that even Elon Musk recommended for users to switch to a more secured messaging app. Security experts, on the other hand, recommend to install VPN if you wish to continue using the app. 

This might not seem to be a huge deal but more people are now becoming concerned with the online privacy and how much details and information could the government and companies know about you. 

As of the moment, companies would respect your privacy which is a great comfort. However, in the future, we would not know for sure. 

Update

After the massive exodus of users from WhatsApp to other messaging apps, WhatsApp have rescheduled its privacy policy update from 8 February to 15th of May. 

WhatsApp have postposed the update this way users could study more and acquaint themselves of the new policies. Unfortunately, WhatsApp did not clarify as to whether or not they will change their take it or leave it attitude. 

Furthermore, they have reassured their users that WhatApp and Facebook will not be able to access personal user information. If you are still concerned especially with their online privacy, we guess it is time to say “goodbye” to the once trusted messaging app. 

Renee Biana

VPN Pick brings you all the latest vpn news, reviews and discounts.

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