WhatsApp clarifies the privacy changes ensuring that it protects all private messages

The notice in the privacy changes has once again aroused reluctance in WhatsApp users. Although 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 questions.

Messaging applications have become almost essential, hence the war that exists between the different platforms is less and less veiled. And it is enough that the dominant app has a slip so that the rest take the opportunity to claim their space: with the notice of the changes in the privacy of WhatsApp both Telegram and Signal rose in popularity (They rank first on Google Play in terms of weekly downloads.) So WhatsApp has 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’

WhatsApp clarifies the privacy changes ensuring that it protects all private messages

The greater integration between WhatsApp and Facebook has aroused outrage among users, especially after everyone has received the notice with the obligation to accept the changes (including Europeans, who are not affected). In itself, the movement does not represent a notable increase in the amount of data that WhatsApp shares with Facebook since both platforms were intimately linked; not in vain does the first belong to the second. Yes it has increased information given to improve Facebook services, a fact for which WhatsApp has preferred to request the acceptance of the new terms with the intention of healing itself from subsequent legal claims.

What does WhatsApp really collect from users? Technically it cannot enter the messages as these are end-to-end encrypted by default, in both individual and group chats. Yes, you can access what is known as ‘metadata’, information that is derived from the use of the application.

WhatsApp knows when users are most active, which is tremendously useful for segmenting advertising hours by price ranges, for example. You can also establish links between the users who send the most messages, it is possible to collect information about the devices and also the approximate location thanks to the connection IPs. Metadata is the main value to monetize any platform. Y all companies that aspire to be economically viable make them profitable to a greater or lesser extent.

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 is not yet translated into Spanish) where it clearly specifies the treatment that is carried out on the messages. In no case can you access these messages, nor the content that is shared (photos, videos, audios or precise location, for example). In addition, it is now possible to mark messages to self-destruct, an element that improves the privacy of the platform; even though the timeframe is too loose (one week).

WhatsApp clarifies the privacy changes ensuring that it protects all private messages

WhatsApp is going to have a hard time convincing privacy-conscious users that the app really does monitor privacy. It is true that messages and their content are private, but there is a huge amount of adjacent data that also concern privacy and that end up in the hands of Facebook. European citizens are better protected than the rest, the acceptance of the famous WhatsApp notice will not affect us. The problem is that others have no opportunity to oppose the flow of data to improve Facebook services.

More information | WhatsApp
Via | XDA Developers

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