WhatsApp latest policy update – What does it mean to you?
WhatsApp is one of the most widely used mobile apps. Many of the elders are now using smartphones mainly because of WhatsApp. Whenever something major happens in WhatsApp, it will be discussed everywhere – including the numerous groups in WhatsApp. During such a discussion, I was asked whether I will be moving to Telegram or Signal instead of WhatsApp due to the recent changes. So I thought of digging a bit more on the recent changes to decide on the next steps. SO HERE YOU GO…
What is changing in WhatsApp?
WhatsApp latest update does not change data-sharing practices with Facebook. Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, confirmed this via Twitter. “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,” he said.
WhatsApp’s previous policies also state that it shares information with Facebook. For example, in 2019’s policy update, they said “Facebook and the other companies in the Facebook family also may use information from us to improve your experiences within their services such as making product suggestions (for example, of friends or connections, or of interesting content) and showing relevant offers and ads. However, your WhatsApp messages will not be shared onto Facebook for others to see. In fact, Facebook will not use your WhatsApp messages for any purpose other than to assist us in operating and providing our Services“.
I think I disabled the sharing feature before, but I don’t remember correctly and I do not see that option in my account now. My guess is that they may have removed that option after 30 days of the policy change. So it is almost the same as the current policy – no option to disable sharing the data with Facebook.
So overall, all the policy changes are not directly related to the chat messages you send/receive with your personal contacts or groups. As of now, personal chat messages are not shared with anyone else. But except the actual conversation, almost all other data, which is as powerful as the conversation data, is collected and used.
Am I planning to delete my WhatsApp account and going to use other apps like Telegram or Signal?
Well, nothing is decided yet. Facebook is collecting much more information. So I am not much sure about suddenly deleting WhatsApp account and completely moving to another platform. I am already using Telegram(not much for chatting/messaging) and have now created an account in Signal also. I have concerns about Telegram’s security/privacy so I am thinking about using Signal. I will decide after some more testing.