Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Be Worried About WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy

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The initial reason for the creation of WhatsApp by Brian Acton and Jan Koum was to create an app that reduces cost of text message. As simple as that. Without doubt, WhatsApp has grown to become the future of messaging and in true terms they have grossly replaced sending text messages and the feature that comes with also calls that uses your data in place of call credit added to its importance.

After the new privacy policy, a lot of people have become sceptical about the messaging app with some shutting down their account which in truth doesn’t raise any eyebrow.

The questions are, should you be worried about the new privacy policy? To start with, quite a number of people don’t read the policy and just scroll down to the agree button which obviously shouldn’t be so.

Anyways, below are some of the new policy and why you should be worried about the direction the social media messaging app is heading.

We plan to share some information with Facebook and the Facebook family of companies that will allow us to coordinate more, such as to fight spam and abuse, and improve experiences across our services and those of Facebook and the Facebook family. For example, once you have accepted our updated Terms and Privacy Policy, we will share some of your account information with Facebook and the Facebook family of companies, like the phone number you verified when you registered with WhatsApp, as well as the last time you used our service.

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We will allow you and third parties, like businesses, to communicate with each other using WhatsApp, such as through order, transaction, and appointment information, delivery and shipping notifications, product and service updates, and marketing. For example, you may receive flight status information for upcoming travel, a receipt for something you purchased, or a notification when a delivery will be made. Messages you may receive containing marketing could include an offer for something that might interest you.

Difference in Policy: The previous policy explicitly mentioned a heading called ‘Data we do not collect’ and said that we don’t collect content of messages. However, the new policy has a heading called ‘data we collect’ and mentions content. It also says they retain popular photos for a longer time but what exactly is the meaning of ‘popular’ and what is the definition of a ‘longer time.’  None of this is explained anywhere.

Information: WhatsApp plans on helping Facebook improve the Ad experience on Facebook and its products to make accurate count of unique users and fight spam and abuse. The updated policy also states: “…we will share some of your account information with Facebook and the Facebook

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family of companies, like the phone number you verified when you registered with WhatsApp, as well as the last time you used our service…”. This means that shared information will include name of device, online status, usage and log information which am sure is still not comfortable with a lot of people who like to keep it simple and very private.

History: Facebook has a history of changing its policies to clearly put the company’s needs ahead of its users’ and has faced user ire each time.

Just after WhatsApp was acquired Mark Zuckerberg stated that WhatsApp will continue to function independently and not with facebook. Did he lie? Why a change of privacy policy now?

The truth is this was inevitable…it was always going to happen; the question has always been when?

There are definitely benefits nevertheless, there are question marks surrounding the new privacy policy.

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