- WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging and VoIP service.
- It will store users’ personal data using Facebook’s infrastructure.
- Personal data will include phone numbers, contacts, locations, etc.
WhatsApp is updating its terms of service to force users to share personal information with its parent company, Facebook. The information will also include details of their phone numbers and locations. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, among other critics, are suggesting users move to more encrypted electronic communication apps. He personally recommended Signal and Telegram app to switch to.
WhatsApp is an encrypted electronic communication app that sells itself as a privacy-focused service. But according to reports, it can soon begin to force users to share personal knowledge with Facebook, its parent company.
In its announcement, Whatsapp on Wednesday said that users would have to comply with Facebook collecting their information. The app will share users’ phone numbers, contacts’ phone numbers, locations, and other personal data. And, if users don’t agree to it, they’re going to lose access to the messaging service. The company has set the deadline to comply by February 8.
The move has raised concerns among its users causing them to delete their WhatsApp accounts. Now, they’re switching to smaller encrypted electronic communication apps like Signal and wire.
According to Mike Butcher, TechCrunch editor, Signal and Telegram are currently the most suitable alternatives. Especially for those who are concerned about their privacy. He shared comparisons of the info WhatsApp collects versus what Signal and Telegram collect. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk was among those urging users to switch services. He suggested that users ‘Use Signal,’ in his recent tweet.
Musk also criticized Facebook through a sarcastic meme. He accused Facebook responsible for the rioters’ attack on the US Capitol, this Wednesday.
Facebook and WhatsApp
Brian Acton and Jan Koum founded Whatsapp in 2009. It was designed as a cross-platform messaging and VoIP service. Facebook acquired WhatsApp back in 2014 for a whopping $21.8 billion. And, in 2016, Facebook gave Whatsapp users a one-time option to opt-out of sharing their data with Facebook. A WhatsApp representative told Ars Technica the modification was to permit businesses to store WhatsApp chats utilizing Facebook’s infrastructure.
Although the spokesperson failed to clarify why the platform was set to make the modification. But, surprisingly said that the change might not have an effect on the EU and UK-based users.
The company clarified that it still doesn’t share the European region’s WhatsApp user information with Facebook.