WhatsApp Privacy Policy

WhatsApp Privacy Policy

whatsapp privacy policy

Just like millions of other people in the country did you also receive the pop up that is shown in the above image about the new WhatsApp’s privacy policy? Are you one of those people to just accept the terms and conditions without actually reading the said terms and conditions? Well, the new privacy policy of WhatsApp is something you are going to want to read before just blindly clicking on the accept tab. Are the people right to be freaking out about it or are all social media and news channels exaggerating false claims?

So, let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room; will WhatsApp share your personal messages with Facebook? No, WhatsApp remains end-to-end encrypted; no third party can read them. Well then you may ask what is all the noise about?

According to the new policy, WhatsApp will share information like your account registration information (your phone number), address book information and your status information, usage and log information, device and connection data (which mobile and service provider you are using), your location and cookies with Facebook, its parent company, to begin with. Other information like transactions and payments to aid their new WhatsApp payments service will be collected and customer support communications, that is, your communications with any business account through WhatsApp can be viewed and stored by WhatsApp and Facebook.

Now the big question arises: why is Facebook doing this? In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $16 billion. Many people thought that he paid way too much but what they did not know is that Mark Zuckerberg had a well thought out plan.

According to various theories, through this new WhatsApp privacy policy and various other tools, Facebook is trying to create a database of users to be shared with other companies for their own gain. With the information collected, Facebook can derive a pattern and create a unique profile about each user containing his/her habits, likes, dislikes, among many other things.

In India alone, Facebook has about 200 million active subscribers; which means data of 200 million prospective consumers. Now imagine how valuable this kind of information is for the various businesses. Targeted advertisements can be sent to you through Facebook and other social media channels to induce demand with the help of such information. Soon, WhatsApp will also start showing you personalized advertisements through the data collected. These advertisements are being sold by Facebook to various companies.

But this is not something new. Have you ever noticed that an advertisement pops up on your Instagram account just minutes after you searched for something related to that on Google? You could be searching for flights and the next minute you start seeing advertisements of various tourism agencies or famous restaurants in that area.

If you want to stay on the app, not accepting the new privacy policy is not an option. This is standard practice for most software. If you don’t want to, you can delete your account and switch to another service.

Many people are now shifting to a new app called Signal which is another free, end to end encrypted messaging app created by WhatsApp’s co-founder Brian Acton. Signal has recently gained a lot of popularity in light of WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.

So, what are your views about WhatsApp’s new privacy policy? Do you think that it is a threat that needs to be eliminated immediately or is it just another step towards the inevitable ruling of the world by AI systems that we just need to accept once and for all?

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