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Switch or not to switch out from WhatsApp

prahladmishra profile image Prahlad Mishra ・2 min read

WhatsApp has updated their privacy policy recently. All was fine until world's richest man tweeted about it and asked to give up WhatsApp and switch to Signal or Telegram. Since then I have received many messages in (WhatsApp) to switch as the data will now be shared with Facebook. First I thought have I missed something and agreed to it as we (mostly) do without reading the fine print. So I started reading the privacy policy and here are my thoughts.

  1. If you have account with Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, they already have your most profile information. Like name, date of birth, location and probably the phone number.
  2. WhatsApp has specifically mentioned that media and message will not be shared. (https://www.whatsapp.com/legal/privacy-policy-eea) "Nothing you share on WhatsApp, including your messages, photos, and account information, will be shared onto Facebook or any of our other family of apps for others to see, and nothing you post on those apps will be shared on WhatsApp for others to see, unless you choose to do so."
  3. Those who have issue sharing their number with Facebook, what if you want Two-Factor authentication for more security. You will have to provide your number.
  4. Today Signal and Telegram are small and autonomous companies. But so was WhatsApp before Facebook acquired it. Ring is now Amazon company, GitHub is owned by Microsoft. There is high chances that once Signal and Telegram has enough users any of these BIG BOYS will acquire them. AND the cycle will repeat.
  5. Even if data is shared and user start to see relevant ads based on interests what is wrong with it. When I started looking for higher studies I started seeing so many ads about courses from Universities and colleges worldwide. My thought process improved and I had more data than I could gather by myself to make decision.
  6. For those who fear about this should also know that when we have to switch phone we generally use google or iCloud to backup phone so we don't lose anything that is more sensitive than this issue but we do it anyways.

All in all what I want to say is yes privacy is important and we should keep it that way. But the time we are living is difficult and we need to be connected with our loved ones family and friends. WhatsApp and Facebook has done it beautifully for so many years. I personally is not going to give it up just because they are streamlining there internal databases and improving the processes. Moreover, I am not the world's Richest by any means and what is my phone number is will not be of so much of interest for Facebook. So this time I am going to wait to see if all my near and dear have switched until I switch.

Please let me know what is your take on this or am I really missing something.

Discussion (6)

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cmuralisree profile image
Chittoji Murali Sree Krishna • Edited

Bro it's upto you facebook is tech gaint, everywhere there are tons of people using Facebook or Instagram when they don't have issues using those two, why getting a issue now with what'sapp,

Okay if they what'sapp used for payments too then you might think, when you have felt newer whatsapp is much secured, then what about the gaint Facebook how much security It will have?

I don't think signing-out of whatsapp and giving chance to a newer Apps isn't a good idea

think before doing anything, I might be wrong.

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prahladmishra profile image
Prahlad Mishra Author

You are right, giving chance to newer app is good if it fits your purpose. But disregarding WhatsApp because Mr. Musk has tweeted is also not fair.

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slavius profile image
Slavius

He did so because independently developed apps from donations or monthly subscriptions do not tend to sell your data. Everything that comes for free has its hidden costs.

You still are able use WhatsApp for free as until now but you pay by sharing your data to 3rd party advertising apps that will randomly try to sell you crap using annoying ads. Hence the connection you'll start seeing ads for kid diapers on Facebook, Instagram, drop.io, on your Oculus VR, etc. just because you congratulated your friend to a newborn baby over WhatsApp. It's up to you what you're gonna do about it.

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cmuralisree profile image
Chittoji Murali Sree Krishna

yeah those adds will annoy a bit, but in 2019 according to mark Zuckerberg, he wanna make cross-platform vision across Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, so when people are using facebook or instagram then y sudden worries about whatsapp combining to facebook, as whats app is end-to-end encrypted it wont share personal message kinds of stuff, but it have to share things like user registration , mobile number and transaction data with its parent company i.e FACEBOOK not to the adds,

Does it mean WhatsApp will use your data for ads?

WhatsApp doesn’t show ads yet, and the reported plans appear to have been shelved. If you are worried that personal messages will be used to target ads on WhatsApp, that won’t happen because they are encrypted.

But the increased data sharing with Facebook will be used to improve ad experience across other products of the company.

So upto you guys using it or not, as i said previously i might be wrong

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haxnet profile image
HaxNet

We'll I wouldn't switch just because Musk said so. But ever since this politic games came to play with censorship, it's time to move away from FB, basically the big techs. Also a reason why I am left twitter for fosstodon/Mastodon social media platforms.

Same with google, I bought a domain name just so I can have my own email. Especially with the name HaxNet lol I need to be hidden.

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prahladmishra profile image
Prahlad Mishra Author • Edited

You are right these few BIG ones are buying successful business on daily basis Fitbit is now owned by Google. Now you can imagine how much information do they have about you.