WhatsApp privacy policy update: Don’t fall for these false claims

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WhatsApp is in the midst of a storm after its new privacy policy replace, which suggests additional information sharing with its guardian firm Facebook. Users have to just accept the phrases and repair of this new policy by February 8, 2021, or delete their accounts. This change in privacy policy has additionally sparked an exodus of kinds to apps like Signal and Telegram.

The new policy replace,  by speaking about information sharing with Facebook however with out giving the main points customers want, has additionally given rise to a number of false info. Ironically, WhatsApp itself is the principle vector for disseminating most of these falsehoods.

While the brand new privacy policy for WhatsApp does trigger some concern, particularly with regard to Facebook and information sharing, one shouldn’t consider every little thing being circulated. Of course, one is free to nonetheless give WhatsApp for one other app if not comfy with the policy, however a few of the pretend info round it must be debunked.

Here’s a have a look at a few of the misinformation round WhatsApp that you shouldn’t consider.

Misinformation 1: Does WhatsApp now share my messages with Facebook?

Answer: No.

Explanation: The new policy doesn’t change how WhatsApp offers with private chats, which is able to proceed to stay end-to-end encrypted. This means no third-party can nonetheless learn these chats. “We do not retain your messages in the ordinary course of providing our Services to you. Instead, your messages are stored on your device and not typically stored on our servers. Once your messages are delivered, they are deleted from our servers,” provides the WhatsApp policy.

WhatsApp head Will Cathcart additionally wrote a thread on Twitter making an attempt to clear the air round this. “With end-to-end encryption, we cannot see your private chats or calls and neither can Facebook. We’re committed to this technology and committed to defending it globally.” Remember WhatsApp is utilizing the identical end-to-end encryption protocol as Signal, the app that many are actually turning in direction of.

Read extra: Facebook can’t entry encrypted personal chats: WhatsApp head on new privacy policy

Myth 2: Does WhatsApp share my location with Facebook?

Answer: Only approximate location info

Explanation: The places of WhatsApp customers are once more, protected between the sender and the receiver. So, if you happen to share your dwell location with a pal, that info will not be transmitted to Facebook. However, WhatsApp does collect approximate location information which is given away by your cellphone quantity and IP handle. Note that that is one thing the app can share with Facebook.

The content material you share with your mates, household and colleagues over WhatsApp within the type of photos, movies and audio information are part of your chat historical past and stay end-to-end encrypted.

Myth 3: Does WhatsApp now personal the content material, media information that I’ve shared on the app?

Answer: No.

Explanation: The content material you share with your mates, household and colleagues over WhatsApp within the type of photos, movies and audio information are part of your chat historical past and stay end-to-end encrypted, similar to your textual content messages.

While sending the identical, WhatsApp solely shops the media briefly. Once the picture/video/audio file has reached the receiver, it ought to stay solely on the 2 gadgets and never on WhatsApp’s servers. ”When a person forwards media inside a message, we retailer that media briefly in encrypted type on our servers to help in additional environment friendly supply of extra forwards,” states the brand new policy.

Myth 4: Will WhatsApp present advertisements?

Answer: Not in the mean time.

Explanation: WhatsApp will proceed to be an ad-free messaging service. However, there may be the opportunity of advertisements coming to the platform someday sooner or later. “We still do not allow third-party banner ads on our Services. We have no intention to introduce them, but if we ever do, we will update this Privacy Policy,” states the brand new policy. It was reported previously that WhatsApp would add ads within the Stories/Status characteristic, however that plan has been shelved for now. It seems like WhatsApp is specializing in connecting customers with companies to be able to discover monetisation plans.

Read extra: WhatsApp privacy replace: Signal to Telegram, an in depth have a look at the most effective options

Myth 5: Will WhatsApp document and monitor my audio/video calls?

Answer: No.

Explanation: WhatsApp doesn’t document, or hearken to audio and video calls made through the platform. The information of these voice and video calls stay end-to-end encrypted, similar to textual content messages and media. This signifies that the calls keep between the events concerned within the name and no person else, together with WhatsApp.

Myth 6: Is WhatsApp storing my messages?

Answer: No. You can select to do a backup with third-parties like Google Drive or Apple iCloud. WhatsApp doesn’t retailer these messages.

Explanation: As we talked about above, WhatsApp won’t retailer your textual content messages and different media information, even by itself servers. They are solely saved offline by yourself gadget. That is why once you set up WhatsApp on a brand new cellphone, your chat historical past will not be magically synced like Instagram or Facebook Messenger.

However, if you happen to do select to backup your WhatsApp chats on Drive or iCloud, then they’re within the palms of a third-party firm like Google or Apple. Even then it’s encrypted information. If you actually doubt the security of your messages, then maybe one of the simplest ways to make sure it could be to not again up the information in any respect.

Also learn: Thinking of switching to Signal? Here’s a lowdown on the WhatsApp different

Should you continue to use WhatsApp?

With all of the above myths cleared, WhatsApp’s huge drawback proper now could be the dearth of belief with its guardian firm Facebook, which doesn’t have a stellar document in terms of privacy practices. WhatsApp customers involved about their privacy should be pushed away by the truth that the app has now mandated the acceptance of the brand new privacy phrases. It is barely within the European Union that WhatsApp is legally sure to not share its information with Facebook.

This leaves all present WhatsApp customers two selections. The first is to both follow the app and hope for India to implement new information safety legal guidelines in order that information collected by WhatsApp or just about every other app will not be misused or shared with out permission. The second is to modify to a different app, which isn’t owned by huge tech firms, who’re all going through scrutiny over their information assortment practices.

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