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What Are The New WhatsApp Privacy Policies And When Will They Be Effective? | Voice Of America

WhatsApp, the most popular messaging application in the world, owned by Facebook, has been the target of criticism and debate after the announcement about the changes in its terms of use, which also generated concern on social networks. Users of the application received a notification this month about the new privacy policy and terms, which they had to accept or their account would be deleted, which also generated an increase in users in competing private messaging applications, including Telegram. and Signal. La Voz de América explains what the privacy policy update consists of, the differences between WhatsApp and other platforms and since when would this change apply. What does the WhatsApp privacy policy update consist of? WhatsApp introduced new terms of service asking users to allow its parent company Facebook Inc and its affiliates to collect their data, including phone number and location. They refer, then, to the treatment of data and how companies can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats. If the user decides to continue with WhatsApp, then he accepts to share his data with Facebook, including the telephone number, the data of the operations he does on his mobile and his IP address. The application also accesses device information: brand, model, operating system, battery level, signal strength, telephone number, telephone operator, browser you use, connection information, language and time zone. Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $ 19 billion in 2014, but has been slow to monetize it. The plan is to generate income by facilitating business exchanges in the messaging application. In other words, Facebook wants to know how users behave on WhatsApp to create consumer profiles, and thus send Facebook advertising based on user tastes. WhatsApp explained, through its website, the new functions for companies and the update of the WhatsApp Privacy Policy, which highlights the enabling of customer service, the discovery of companies and the shopping experience. How have the other platforms benefited? According to data from Sensor Tower, after the changes announced by WhatsApp, Signal was downloaded by 17.8 million users at the beginning of January, an increase of 62 times compared to the previous week. WhatsApp was downloaded by 10.6 million users during the same period, 17% less. In the second week of January, Telegram that had exceeded 500 million active users worldwide. “Twenty-five million new users were incorporated in the last 72 hours: 38% came from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from MENA,” according to the platform published, days after the WhatsApp announcement. Telegram surpassed 500 million active users. 25 million new users joined in the last 72 hours: 38% came from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from MENA. https://t.co/1LptHZb9PQ— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) January 12, 2021


New WhatsApp downloads fell 11% in the first seven days of 2021, compared to the previous week, the firm said. Sensor Tower estimates that Signal has been installed around 58.6 million times worldwide since 2014. In that same period, Telegram has seen around 755.2 million installations and WhatsApp only 5.6 billion, almost eight times more than Telegram. What are the differences between WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram? WhatsApp personal messages are protected by end-to-end encryption, just like Signal. Telegram only allows it, if private chats are activated. On the other hand, WhatsApp allows groups of up to 256 people; on the other hand, in Telegram they can be up to 200,000. In addition, it has channels to spread messages on a large scale, which can be considered risky. Regarding the blocking of screenshots for conversations, Signal has this functionality, WhatsApp does not and Telegram only allows it in private chats. Finally, WhatsApp collects data such as location, contacts, and usage data. Telegram and Signal are less strict. All three feature “temporary messages,” which allow shared text, photos, locations, or documents to self-destruct. On WhatsApp, the messages disappear in the next seven days. In Signal and Telegram you can configure the time. What are privacy advocates criticizing about Facebook’s changes? Privacy advocates have criticized the WhatsApp changes for what they see as Facebook’s poor record of advocating for consumers when handling their data. Users basically fear that their data and conversations will be exposed. What does WhatsApp say to its critics? WhatsApp said the planned update does not affect personal conversations, which will continue to have end-to-end encryption, or expand its ability to share data with Facebook. “The update includes new options that people will have to message a business on WhatsApp and provides greater transparency on how we collect and use data,” the company said. We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption. pic.twitter.com/6qDnzQ98MP
– WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 12, 2021
WhatsApp said the update was focused on allowing users to message businesses and that it does not affect personal conversations. “We want to clarify that the update of the policy does not affect in any way the privacy of the messages you share with your friends and family. The changes are related to the optional functions for companies in WhatsApp and provide greater transparency regarding the way in the one we collect and use the data, “says the courier company on its website, along with other clarifications. “This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” he said in a statement on January 15. “While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we believe that more people will choose to do so in the future and it is important that people are aware of these services,” he added. The company insists they do not keep records of people who send messages or call. It adds that the shared location cannot be seen, WhatsApp groups remain private, it is possible to enable the temporary message option, and contacts will not be shared with Facebook. Since when do the new WhatsApp policies apply? WhatsApp said it had set a new deadline of May 15 for the launch of the commercial tools and will gradually approach users to review the policy changes. In addition, on January 15 it reported that users will no longer have to review and accept their updated terms before February 8, nor will their accounts be suspended or eliminated for that date.

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