Saturday, 16 January 2021

WhatsApp delays privacy update that would share data with Facebook after the messaging app loses MILLIONS of users to Signal and Telegram

 Millions of WhatsApp users abandoned the messaging app ahead of a privacy update that would share their data with Facebook, but due to such a great loss, WhatsApp is now postponing the data-sharing change.

The smartphone app canceled its February 8 deadline for accepting an update, saying it would use the pause to clear up misinformation around privacy and security.

The firm would instead 'go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.' 


However, WhatsApp back peddling on its update may not be enough to regain its losses, as many flocked to the encrypted-messaging apps Signal and Telegram -both have been downloaded more than 1.3 million times since the announcement. 

Millions of WhatsApp users abandoned the messaging app ahead of a privacy update that would share their data with Facebook, but due to such a great loss, WhatsApp is now postponing the data-sharing change

Millions of WhatsApp users abandoned the messaging app ahead of a privacy update that would share their data with Facebook, but due to such a great loss, WhatsApp is now postponing the data-sharing change

'We've heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update,' WhatsApp said in a blog post.

'This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.'


WhatsApp announced the privacy policy change on January 7, which would require all countries outside of Europe and the UK to permit the app to share data with Facebook.

Many users were furious by the move and flocked to other messaging apps, primarily Telegram and Signal. 

WhatsApp announced the privacy policy change on January 7, which would require all countries outside of Europe and the UK to permit the app to share data with Facebook

WhatsApp announced the privacy policy change on January 7, which would require all countries outside of Europe and the UK to permit the app to share data with Facebook

Telegram picked up nearly 1.7 million downloads and Signal gained 1.2 million downloads since WhatsApp notified users of its privacy update

Telegram picked up nearly 1.7 million downloads and Signal gained 1.2 million downloads since WhatsApp notified users of its privacy update 

Telegram picked up nearly 1.7 million downloads and Signal gained 1.2 million downloads since WhatsApp notified users of its privacy update.

Pavel Durov, founder of Telegram, said: 'People no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services,' Durov said without directly referring to the rival app.

Elon Musk may have also helped with WhatsApp losing millions of users. 

The billionaire tweeted 'Use Signal' on January 7, which was the same day Signal saw the massive spike in downloads.  

WhatsApp installations also fell approximately 13 percent to 10.3 million downloads in the first seven days of January, compared to the seven days prior.

The update concerns how merchants using WhatsApp to chat with customers can share data with Facebook, which could use the information for targeted ads, according to the social network.

'We can't see your private messages or hear your calls, and neither can Facebook,' WhatsApp said in an earlier blog post.

'We don't keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling. We can't see your shared location and neither can Facebook.'

WhatsApp installations also fell approximately 13 percent to 10.3 million downloads in the first seven days of January, compared to the seven days prior

WhatsApp installations also fell approximately 13 percent to 10.3 million downloads in the first seven days of January, compared to the seven days prior

The update concerns how merchants using WhatsApp to chat with customers can share data with Facebook, which could use the information for targeted ads, according to the social network Many users did not waste anytime dumping WhatsApp for other messaging apps following news of the update

The update concerns how merchants using WhatsApp to chat with customers can share data with Facebook, which could use the information for targeted ads, according to the social network Many users did not waste anytime dumping WhatsApp for other messaging apps following news of the update

Location data along with message contents is encrypted end-to-end, according to WhatsApp.

'We're giving businesses the option to use secure hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions, and send helpful information like purchase receipts,' WhatsApp said in a post.

'Whether you communicate with a business by phone, email, or WhatsApp, it can see what you're saying and may use that information for its own marketing purposes, which may include advertising on Facebook.'

Technology experts note that WhatsApp's new requirement of its users makes legally binding a policy that has been widely in use since 2016.

Facebook aims to monetize WhatsApp by allowing businesses to contact clients via the platform, making it natural for the internet giant to centralize some data on its servers.

The move has also caught the attention of government officials who find it just as concerning as the public. 

The Turkish Competition Authority said it is opening an investigation and requiring WhatsApp to suspend the data sharing obligation on its users.

 

However, technology experts note that WhatsApp's new requirement of its users makes legally binding a policy that has been widely in use since 2016 - but users are still not sticking around following WhatsApp making the

However, technology experts note that WhatsApp's new requirement of its users makes legally binding a policy that has been widely in use since 2016 - but users are still not sticking around following WhatsApp making the 

Several Turkish state organizations -- including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's media office -- switched to Turkcell telecom's new messaging service BiP in response.

The terms of service tweak also put WhatsApp in the crosshairs in Italy and India, where a petition has been filed in a Delhi court.

WhatsApp's notice to users lacked clarity and its privacy implications need to be carefully evaluated, Italian data protection agency GPDP said in a post at its website.

GPDP said it has shared its concerns with the European Data Protection Board and reserved the right to intervene in the matter.

Facebook has come under increasing pressure from regulators as it tries to integrate its services.

Encrypted messaging app Telegram has seen user ranks surge on the heels of the WhatsApp service terms announcement, said its Russia-born founder

Encrypted messaging app Signal has also seen a huge surge in demand, helped by a tweeted recommendation by billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.

WhatsApp has sought to reassure worried users, even running full-page newspaper adverts in India, proclaiming that 'respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA'.

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