WhatsApp will share data with Facebook for better ad experience. Personal messages will not be shared, but other details regarding user behavior will be shared. This doesn’t mean WhatsApp will start showing ads, but it means that the parent platform, FaceBook will give you targeted ads based on the data that WhatsApp shared.
Data Sharing and Messages
As per the new policy, the user will need to agree to the data sharing terms. According to this, personal messages will not be shared, it will be end-to-end encrypted. But certain important information will be shared with Facebook.
Who Has to Accept these terms?
For the people in European Union, there is an option to ‘disagree’ to the new terms and conditions. The user data will not be shared with FB. But this choice is not given to the rest of the world. Even in India, the users will need to agree to these terms. There is a time limit given till February 8th.
If you do not accept the terms and conditions, you will lose access. This has left many users, disappointed. People are now planning to shift to other Messaging platforms with better security.
Data that WhatsApp will Collect and Share
Although the personal messages will be end-to-end encrypted, certain information will be collected by WhatsApp. All this information will be shared with Facebook. Details regarding your phone number, mobile information, WhatsApp usage, Payment and Transactions (regarding WhatsApp payment), Status update, ‘About Info,’ profile picture, etc.
Mobile information includes phone model, OS, Battery status, Time zone, IP address, Signal strength, etc.
All this is part of Mark Zuckerberg’s “Big Plan” of integrating the entire Facebook group owned platforms. This includes Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
‘Signal’ App As an Alternative
Signal is a messaging app. It is free and not owned by any big corporation. It is run by a non-profit organization called Signal Foundation. The app is not backed by any ads. It does not share or store any personal user data.
Here is why Signal is better:
One of the best features of this app is “Incognito keyboard.” This will ensure that whatever you type, will not be stored in the keyboard history. For example, when you use a word frequently, it starts showing as the “Suggested” word on your keyboard. This happens when the keyboard collects data from your messaging app, Signal denies this access.
Signal App Becomes No.1 on App store
Tesla's CEO Elon Musk and many others suggested ‘Signal’ as the best alternative. "Use Signal,” tweeted Musk.
WhatsApp will share its users' personal information, including phone numbers, IP addresses, contacts, & more with Facebook from Feb. 8, according to the new T&Cs. No opt-out. The only way to object is to leave the service & move to a service like Signal or Telegram. https://t.co/FbGcq5T3JB— Mike Butcher (@mikebutcher) January 6, 2021
Even TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher promoted Signal and Telegram as a better option. “WhatsApp will share its users' personal information, including phone numbers, IP addresses, contacts, & more with Facebook from Feb. 8, according to the new T&Cs. No opt-out. The only way to object is to leave the service & move to a service like Signal or Telegram,” posted Butcher.
Following all this, Signal is now gaining many new followers where WhatsApp is losing the numbers. Signal is currently the No.1 app on Indian App store.
Apart from Signal, even telegram app can be an alternative. This app provides in-built cloud backup. Secret chats are not backed up. Screen security and self destructing features for the secret chats and other security features that make Telegram safer than WhatsApp.
In conclusion, many users have already uninstalled WhatsApp over security concerns. People do not like the new policy and feel their privacy is at stake.
Make a wise decision.