5 Reasons Why Users Are Not Happy With New WhatsApp Privacy Policy

WhatsApp Privacy Policy

New WhatsApp Privacy Policy has made it clear that if users do not accept the latest terms by 8th February, they will lose their account for good. Many users who received the update notification have agreed without reading the new terms. There were several points in the terms which made users regret pressing the green button. After accepting the new policy, everybody’s favorite messaging app will start sharing user’s data with its parent, Facebook.

This data might not include text messages, multimedia messages, voice calls, or voice notes as the chat function is end-to-end (e2e) encrypted, as per the developer. It means that nobody, not even WhatsApp can view the private messaging between users. Number of controversies have placed Facebook in the crosshairs of US government. The Federal Trade Commission has also accused the tech giant of making profits by compromising user’s data. The tech giant has to clarify about the practice of users’ personal data before 31st January 2021.

Meanwhile, users of the popular messaging service have been criticizing the platform for betraying their trust. Here are 5 major reasons why they have decided to say good bye to WhatsApp:

New WhatsApp Privacy Policy Cancels Privacy

Users pointed out that in previous update, the policy included a statement which claimed that WhatsApp respected user’s privacy. In the new update, this statement was missing. It indicates that WhatApp might no longer care about the privacy in order to achieve new goals. Many users have trolled this New WhatsApp Privacy Policy on social media for privacy violation. 

New goals of WhatApp require the collection of some sensitive data from users. This data may exceed the constraints of the messaging application and include other technical information from the entire handset.

Data WhatsApp Is Sharing With Facebook

WhatsApp has expanded on its collection and handling of user data on its official website. There is also a new section named Transactions and Payments Data which specifies that the platform will collect additional information about payments and transactions. This information may include the user’s transaction method, shipping address, and transaction amount.

This lack of transparency from the tech giant had earlier forced the EU to implement General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for online platforms.

The regulations bind e-commerce giants and other websites to disclose in detail their mechanism and purpose of collecting users’ data. Due to this law, no online platform can take user data from EU citizens without permission. Such is not the case with the US, so US citizens preferred to abandon WhatsApp and try using alternative messaging apps. One of the most wanted men by the most powerful government advocated normalizing Signal messaging app in regards to privacy

WhatsApp basically forged an agreement with its users about sharing the data it already collects from the user’s device. Besides the Transaction and Payments info, it also fetches location data, IP address, signal strength, operating system, cell phone model, battery status, about info, group details, and more.

According to the parent company, this new WhatsApp privacy policy was solely for analytics purposes. However, Facebook has been accused countless times of influencing third-party entities to manipulate Facebook users’ personal data. As the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed that Facebook failed to protect its users from a massive data breach. Their data was then used to help the Trump campaign in the 2016 US elections to effectively target ads to the desired audience.

Integrating Three Platforms In To One

The new WhatsApp privacy policy also comes as development in Mark Zuckerberg’s efforts of integrating all FB products under one umbrella. Last year, the tech giant finalized its merger of Instagram and WhatsApp with Facebook but confirmed that WhatsApp will remain a separate app from the social networks. However, the new policy contradicts Facebook’s initial promise with users, which has made them extremely angry.

WhatsApp has never been a profit-making app under Facebook because it removed the $1 price tag after acquiring it in 2014. Therefore, the plan was to integrate it with those who already make money for Zuckerberg.

Targeted Ads on WhatsApp

WhatsApp will make money by studying the collected data and create ads according to that. The information user provides to Facebook/WhatsApp/Instagram will be useful for the tech giant to formulate a strategy that which user should receive which kind of ad. The collected data often reveals the interests, bank balance, contacts, and other vital information which FB can use to manipulate users’ decision. The platform wants to show that exact kind of ad in which a user would be interested in making a transaction.

One way through which Whatsapp privacy policy can impact the users’ is by targeting ads on the basis of what users are talking about. For example, a conversation between a couple can be about planning a date which Facebook will read quickly. Then it will start showing ads on either platform, about the required items on a date (like condoms or rooms)

It is also likely that users will also receive marketing alerts about other FB products and services.

Deleting WhatsApp Will Not Protect The Data

If users think that they can just delete the app and get rid of all the worries then they are in for some bad news. Facebook has controlled WhatsApp for 6 years and most probably have everything they need by now.

As far as the update notification is concerned, it came after the controversies got intense. Facebook is accused of thwarting its rivals and enforcing monopoly in an industry where there could have been a healthy competition.

As a result, more and more people started joining the same network which ultimately increased big data. The mass user data remains inside the platform forever unless they use the in-app delete account feature. Similar is the case with WhatsApp, to permanently cut ties from the messaging app:

  1. Open WhatsApp
  2. Tap ‘More Options’ > ‘Settings’ > ‘Account’ > ‘Delete My Account’
  3. Enter the registered phone number in the international format and tap ‘Delete My Account’
  4. Choose a reason for deleting your WhatsApp account
  5. Tap ‘Delete My Account’
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