WhatsApp's Revised Privacy Policy

The revised policy is in terms of Facebook's wider objective of providing consumers with a seamless experience
WhatsApp's Revised Privacy Policy
WhatsApp's Revised Privacy Policy

In recent years, every major tech giant has been hammered by government officials and by the public as well on how securely they store and what user data they exchange with the third-party companies and vendors, who process it for personalised ads to target users.

On the 5th of January, individuals were greeted with the newly revised privacy policy with the option of - ‘agreeing to it’, ‘not now’- till the 8th of February, or ‘refuse’, which will result in termination of your WhatsApp account, instead of 'Good Morning' messages from their relatives.

Revised policy

To begin with, WhatsApp remains encrypted end-to-end, which ensures that your messages are secure and encrypted. WhatsApp is introducing in three updates, how the app processes your data, how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats, and there will be a tighter integration of Facebook’s other owned companies and products with WhatsApp.

In terms of hardware information, “battery percentage, network strength, app version, web-browser details, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or Internet service provider), language and time zone, IP address, device operations data, and Identifiers (including identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account)." These are the information that they collect according to their new privacy policy.

The revised WhatsApp privacy policy is in terms of Facebook's wider objective of providing consumers with a seamless experience across all of its products and services. In any case, while the updates will help the platform deliver a "better" user experience, they reflect several privacy concerns that do not look good for WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram's "Privacy centered vision" from Facebook. Fortunately, for users in the European Union, these rule changes do not apply as WhatsApp would comply with their stringent specifications of General Data Protection Regulation to operate. 

Together, the privacy policies and terms of service of WhatsApp are 8,000 words long and are littered with legal jargon that makes it beyond one's level of understanding. WhatsApp is doing its customers a disservice by not willing to comment on the record so that writers can thoroughly comprehend the changes and describe them to readers. 

After Facebook acquired it in 2014 in a deal worth $19 billion, WhatsApp has faced scrutiny on how it operates. In 2018, WhatsApp founder, Jan Koum stepped down as the firm’s chief executive officer amid concerns about privacy and data security. Fellow co-founder Brian Acton, who also resigned from the company after the Facebook takeover, said in an interview with Forbes after he left: "I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day.”

Elon Musk, who has a long history of not agreeing with Mark Zuckerberg. 

Wrote the cryptic tweet "Use Signal" (Signal is a robust messaging platform, which provides better privacy to its user with no data footprint linked with the app)

Signal has seen a spike in user registration in the last few days. 


In the end, it all boils down to the user on whether they will prefer the ease or their privacy and remember if 'If you are not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold' ~ Andrew Lewis. 

The author is a Tech-Enthusiast and a Blogger 

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Business & Money