People are crazy about Facebook’s WhatsApp privacy policy

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Last week, nearly 2 billion people worldwide who used WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned instant messaging service, were welcomed by a huge pop-up window when they launched the application.

It said: “WhatsApp is updating its terms and privacy policy.”

Click to enter results in 4000 words Privacy Policy, Which states that WhatsApp will now reserve the right to share data with Facebook and other Facebook-owned platforms (such as Instagram), such as phone numbers, IP addresses, and payments made through the app. It also said that if people use WhatsApp to talk to businesses that use Facebook hosting technology to manage these chats, businesses can use these messages to target people who advertise on Facebook.

Unless people agree to these new terms, they will be denied access to WhatsApp on February 8.

Online, the rebound is very fast. “Use Signal” Tweet Tesla CEO Elon Musk has 42 million followers, referring to the open source WhatsApp alternative, which is among people who deal with sensitive information such as journalists and activists very popular. “I use [Signal] Everyday, I am not dead yet,” Tweet American whistleblower Edward Snowden. In Turkey, the media office of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the country’s Ministry of Defense announced that Put down WhatsApp After the policy was changed, an investigation was launched.

In most countries/regions around the world, Signal has become the number one free app in Google and Apple’s app stores. Data analysis company Sensor Tower shows that in the week of January 4, more than 8.8 million people downloaded Signal on iPhone and Android phones, compared with only 246,000 last week. Telegram, another WhatsApp alternative, Say On Tuesday, more than 25 million people joined in the past 72 hours.

@After @elonmusk and @Snowden posted on Twitter, more than 5 million people downloaded #Signal??#privacy #whatsapp our report ?


“I am worried about my privacy,” J. Paul, a marketing expert from Mumbai, told BuzzFeed News that he only wanted to identify it by initials. “Facebook monetizes its products in a way that is intrusive to users.”

In addition to Facebook itself, WhatsApp is Facebook’s largest and most popular service.In markets such as Brazil and India, the app is Default way Communication with hundreds of millions of people. But so far, Facebook acquired Facebook for $22 billion in 2014, but the company has largely maintained its independence and has not tried to profit from it. Now, the situation is changing.

A WhatsApp spokesperson told BuzzFeed News: “We remain committed to protecting the privacy and security of people’s private information.” A link Go to the page explaining the new policy that the company released earlier this week. “In the long run, the best way to maintain end-to-end encryption is to have a business model that protects people’s private communications.”

The page said that WhatsApp believes that communications with companies are different from communications with friends and family, and it also subdivides data that the company may share with Facebook in the future.

The new privacy policy will enable Facebook (the social network to generate more than $21 billion in revenue from advertising targeted to people in the last quarter of 2020) using WhatsApp to make more money. But doing so means trying to fork the app’s large user base for more data, and there may be the risk of sending many of these data to competitors.

“If you are going to spend $22 billion to acquire an asset sooner or later, shareholders want you to monetize it,” Mishi Choudhary, a technology lawyer and online civil liberties activist based in New York, told BuzzFeed News.

WhatsApp, founded by two former Yahoo employees, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, initially charged people $1 a year. After Facebook provided the application for free, it grew rapidly. In the first few years after purchasing the app in 2014, Facebook largely ignored WhatsApp. But in 2018, it launched WhatsApp Business, which enables businesses to use WhatsApp to communicate with customers. Facebook hopes for the first time that WhatsApp will start generating revenue.

Last year, WhatsApp added more business-oriented features, such as air tickets and shopping receipts, table of Contents, with payment method. WhatsApp said that there are more than 50 million companies on the platform, and more than 175 million people send messages to companies on the app every day.

Devdutta Mukhopadhyay (Devdutta Mukhopadhyay), a lawyer for the non-profit Internet Freedom Foundation, said: “They want WhatsApp to be a payment service and shopping portal. This will be another aspect of life covered by Facebook’s data collection efforts.” Freedom, told BuzzFeed News . “This is their latest privacy policy change.”

Paul said: “I don’t trust Facebook.” He recently disabled his Facebook account, although he still uses Instagram and WhatsApp. He said: “I have to persevere, but I don’t trust it.”

Since the Facebook acquisition, trust in WhatsApp has weakened. Koum defended the sale of the app to Facebook in 2014 Blog post, Indicating that the company is not interested in people’s personal data. He wrote: “If working with Facebook means we have to change our values, then we won’t do it.” But two years later, WhatsApp Announce It will begin to share some data, including phone numbers and the last time people used the service on Facebook-the EU has taken this initiative for this fined This is 110 million euros.

The current backlash is swept by wrong information. Many people don’t realize that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy only applies to chats with businesses, not private conversations with friends and family, and urge others to boycott the app.

Mukhopadhyay said: “To be honest, I don’t think most people who turn to Signal or Telegram angrily have actually read the new privacy policy.” “No matter what the complicated legal documents say, people’s life experience tells them that they The data provided by companies like Facebook cannot be trusted.”

In response, Facebook is on a charm offensive. In India, this is the company’s largest market, with more than 400 million users. The company ran full-page advertisements in major newspapers across the United States, clarifying that it cannot see people’s private messages or hear their calls. The WhatsApp advertisement said: “Respect for your privacy has been coded into our DNA.” This echoes a sentence from Koum’s blog in 2014.

Senior Facebook executives, such as Head of Instagram And Facebook Head of Virtual Reality, Posted a tweet to support the app.

Last Friday, Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp, also wrote a series of tweets, emphasizing how companies can’t see people’s private chats, and the new privacy policy only applies to messages with companies .

He wrote: “The important thing for us is that this update describes business communication and does not change the data sharing practices of WhatsApp and Facebook.” “This does not affect people with friends or family anywhere in the world. The way of communicating privately.”

Cathcart did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.

Despite strong protests, it is difficult to abandon WhatsApp in a country like India. Paul, a marketing expert from Mumbai, said he will continue to use the app until he urges everyone he knows to switch to Signal.

He said: “This is not an easy task because of how convenient WhatsApp is.”

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