The notice of the privacy changes has once again raised reluctance among WhatsApp users. While these changes do not affect everyone, and knowing that European users do not share data with Facebook to improve its platform, WhatsApp has decided to update its help page offering clarifications regarding privacy issues.
Messaging applications have become almost essential, hence the war that exists between different platforms is less and less veiled. And it is enough for the dominant application to have a slip for others to take advantage of it to claim their space: with the notice of changes in WhatsApp privacy Telegram and Signal have gained popularity (They are the top on Google Play in terms of weekly downloads). WhatsApp therefore had to wash its image by creating a page dedicated to clarifying doubts about its use of data.
‘WhatsApp protects and secures your private messages’
The greater integration between WhatsApp and Facebook sparked outrage from users, especially after everyone received the notice with the obligation to accept the changes (including Europeans, who are not affected). By itself, the move does not represent a noticeable increase in the amount of data that WhatsApp shares with Facebook since the two platforms were intimately linked; it is not in vain that the first belongs to the second. Yes it increased information given to improve Facebook services, a fact for which WhatsApp preferred to ask for the acceptance of the new conditions in order to be cured of subsequent legal claims.
What is WhatsApp really collecting from users? Technically, it cannot enter messages as they are end-to-end encrypted by default, in individual and group discussions. Yes, you can access what is called “metadata”, information derived from the use of the application.
WhatsApp knows when users are most active, which is extremely useful for segmenting advertising hours by price brackets, for example. You can also establish links between the users who send the most messages, it is possible to collect device information and also approximate location thanks to connection IPs. Metadata is the main value to monetize any platform. AND all businesses that aspire to be economically viable make them more or less profitable.
WhatsApp cannot share the content of private messages with Facebook, but it can access metadata derived from the use made of the platform
To clarify doubts, WhatsApp has introduced a new section in its help service (it has not yet been translated into Spanish) where it clearly specifies the treatment carried out on messages. Under no circumstances can you access these messages, nor the content that is shared
WhatsApp is going to have a hard time convincing privacy-conscious users that the app really monitors privacy. It is true that messages and their content are private, but there is a huge amount of adjacent data. which also concern privacy and which end up in the hands of Facebook. European citizens are better protected than others, accepting the famous WhatsApp notice will not affect us. The problem is, others don’t have the option to object to the data feed to improve Facebook services.
More information | WhatsApp
Vía | XDA Developers
- Communication and messaging