WhatsApp Ultimatum: Share Data or Stop Using The App



WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messenger that claims to have privacy coded into its DNA, is giving its 2 billion plus users an ultimatum: agree to share their personal data with the social network or delete their accounts.


The requirement is being delivered through an in-app alert directing users to agree to sweeping changes in the WhatsApp terms of service. Those who don’t accept the revamped privacy policy by February 8 will no longer be able to use the app.



Shortly after Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, its developers built state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption into the messaging app.


In 2016, WhatsApp gave users a one-time ability to opt out of having account data turned over to Facebook. Now, an updated privacy policy is changing that. Come next month, users will no longer have that choice. Some of the data that WhatsApp collects includes:


1. User phone numbers

2. Other people’s phone numbers stored in address books

3. Profile names

4. Profile pictures and

5. Status message including when a user was last online

6. Diagnostic data collected from app logs


Under the new terms, Facebook reserves the right to share collected data with its family of companies.


“As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, this family of companies,” the new privacy policy states. “We may use the information we receive 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.”


In some cases, such as when someone uses WhatsApp to interact with third-party businesses, Facebook may also share information with those outside entities.


Together, the WhatsApp privacy policy and terms of service are more than 8,000 words long and are filled with legal jargon that makes it difficult for non-lawyers to understand.


People who object to the new terms and policy should consider using a different messenger. The Signal messenger provides the same robust encryption engine with a much more transparent privacy policy and terms of service. (Those documents are half the length of those from WhatsApp, too.) Besides providing encrypted chats, Signal also offers encrypted audio and video calls.


What'sApp is so popular throughout the world, that it is almost incredible to believe that most people would opt out, despite the other available alternatives. The App has become the means of communication for so many throughout the world. Unfortunately, as they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Your personal information is what you give up in exchange for using the App. Therefore, our advise is for everyone to be mindful and monitor their personal information as much as possible.


Please share the information with your friends, family and network.



Story culled from Ars Technica



©2017 Africans Help Desk  I  Contact us at 7188197646 I  editor@abrokyirensem.com I  Tunein @ Abrokyire Nsem

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