Who really understood WhatsApp's new policies?

Let’s dig a little deeper.

The Facebook-owned messaging service Whatsapp is alerting users around the world of an update to its terms of service and privacy policy that’s expected to go into effect next month ( February 8, 2021).

IMPORTANT — You must accept it before February 8; otherwise, your account will be DELETED.

lately, a massive amount of WhatsApp users have been jumping ship to more secure messaging apps like signal and telegram after this announcement. this is probably the biggest digital migration to other social messaging apps like telegram and signal. we’ve ever seen. here Unsurprising, this data sharing policy with Facebook and its other services doesn’t apply to EU states that are part of the European Economic Area (EEA), which are governed by the GDPR data protection regulations.

I know there are lots of queries and discussions on Whatsapp’s new Policies Since I can see my family, friends worried, Everyone is talking about the New Privacy policies of WhatsApp and thinking WhatsApp has messed everything up with their new policies. without even knowing about what’s actually happening. I thought to share some clarifications with you all as well. I am sharing a short thread on this matter. Hope it helps.

many friends pointed out that come February 8, 2021, this opening statement will no longer find a place in the policy. “ Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA. since we started WhatsApp, we’ve aspired to build our services with a set of strong privacy principles in mind” But now WhatsApp has released an FAQ page on its site to clarify that its new policies doesn’t affect the privacy of messages sent to friends and family in any way.

WhatsApp Will share our data with their parent company Facebook This is our biggest concern. Most of us use Instagram and its Owned By Facebook. Instagram also shares your data with Facebook. Google also takes the same data Data from you. Even every Game You Play on your phone takes your data.

On the surface, positive or negative dark sides social media has many benefits and each have had a generally positive impact on our life in a rich way and most people are grateful for the platform that we have to help promote our businesses, connect with old friends, follow our influencers, make a difference to the world and even purchase products through online shops, etc. We’ve seen meaningful updates from their lives while also being able to share with us. It undoubtedly brought us closer, while also rekindling old friendships that would have otherwise grown stale. All for “free”! I say “free” because, while We don’t pay for it with money, We pay for it with our life. If an App/Game is Free to use. I don’t mean it’s free. It’s Using us and our Data as the product. One thing that reminds that there is nothing free on the internet. If you are not paying for a product then you are the product. Documentary on NetFlix: The Social Dilemma (2020). unfortunately, we have sacrificed our privacy in order to access all manner of free stuff on the internet. I agree Online Privacy is a must but giving a nonvalid reason is not the solution.

what does the new privacy policy actually say?

Well !! in simple terms, if we want to continue using WhatsApp after 8th February, We have to agree to share our “personal data” includes our phone devices: hardware model, operating system information, battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP), language and time zone, IP address, how often you use WhatsApp, device operations information, and identifiers (including identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account), even if we do not use our location-related features, They use IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate our general location (e.g., city and country), etc with parent company Facebook and Instagram. So they can customize the ads on their platforms. those are just basics.

if we are communicating with a business via WhatsApp and that business chose to be hosted by a third-party service? that third-party service might be able to read our Messages and use whatever information is there for its benefits. that third-party service by the way can also be facebook. in that case, Facebook may use these chats to personalize content for us.

While WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, its privacy policy offers an insight into the scale and wealth of metadata that’s amassed in the name of improving and supporting the service. Even worse, all of this data is linked to a user’s identity.

Facebook’s entire business model depends on our engagement within their apps. Knowing this, they have a reputation for actively collecting as much data on us as they can, and using it for their profit, selling targeted ads to advertisers. (This also includes Instagram) While the shadiness of it all irked us a bit, I found it understandable: it’s capitalism. They need to make money, and they can do so from whatever data they collect. Fine.

remember the last time we spoke about something and the next day we saw an AD about it. here is the funny thing about the WhatsApp update, though: because most of it is Old News. as early as August 2016, WhatsApp had already started sharing user information with Facebook. users then were given 30 days to OPT out of that policy change. if you were aware of it back then and you said no then you are safe now. if you did not well it’s not the end of the world. to be clear all of our private messages, videos, pictures, recordings according to Facebook remain safe.

Yes, Facebook won’t able to read them but apart from that should we delete WhatsApp or not? we just have to ask ourselves. Though: it remains up to the WhatsApp’s users whether or not they want to message with a business on WhatsApp. The update does not change WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world. WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy. We are communicating directly with users through WhatsApp about these changes so they have time to review the new policy over the course of the next month.

Final Thoughts:

everyone is more anxious and more depressed than ever. That’s not by accident. There’re corporate teams whose jobs are to use your psychology against you. As long as you have sacrificed your privacy in order to access all manner of free stuff on the internet, it’s the same thing; it’s just a matter of time; there is a rule “ if you are not paying for a service, then you are the product “. I don’t how many people are fully aware of this sentiment yet or whether they even care. But the next time you’re browsing the web or scrolling on social media, etc. remember that Every social media follow this rule and they’re watching your every move because that’s the price you pay.

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Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid

Writer | network engineer | Traveler | Biker | Polyglot. I’m so deep even the ocean gets jealous