WhatsApp privacy concerns have been a hot topic as of late. In October 2020, the messaging app giant began raising concerns when the announced a new shopping feature. This would allow customers to connect with and buy from businesses through the app. More recently, WhatsApp caused some panic in its users by requiring them to accept new terms and conditions or have their accounts deleted upon implementation. This date, originally February 8th, has since moved to May 15th, 2021 as the company tries remedy the confusion surrounding the update. So, what exactly is going on?
Disclaimer: This change does not impact European Whatsapp users.
Many stories about WhatsApp’s updated terms seem to imply that the app sharing data with its parent company, Facebook, is a new feature. However WhatsApp already shares user data with Facebook companies.
The alarm seems to stem from Apple making all apps in its store add privacy labels that include what user information is being stored, used, and shared by each company. It is no surprise that WhatsApp privacy concerns are on the rise as its two billion users can clearly see these lists. In comparison to Apple’s iMessage, Whatsapp collects a surprising amount of data while Facebook’s list is even more alarming. It’s much easier for people to accept terms and conditions when they can’t easily see what they’re agreeing to, which is why these recent updates have caused many people to seek alternate messaging apps- namely Signal- that do not hold any data linked to its users. The following image from Forbes is a comparison of iMessage’s and WhatsApp’s privacy labels. Not shown: Signal has none.
So how do all these WhatsApp privacy concerns impact businesses?
When it comes to businesses, we hope that the rising concerns will lead to decision makers taking a closer look at privacy policies before signing agreements with apps and services. WhatsApp is far from being the only third party platform that businesses use on a day-to-day basis. As new applications and trends arise, the demand for businesses to follow their market becomes ever so pressing in order to survive, or be relevant.
One good thing about Apple’s privacy labeling is how it’s forcing apps to be transparent with their privacy policies. This should make it easier for businesses to clearly identify how information is being shared, stored, and potentially at risk, for not only the business, but in turn, the business’ customers.
As a company that speaks fluent IT, Nuage Logic is here to help. We can provide consulting, along with services, that help guide IT decision makers in choosing the right solution for their business platforms. Please contact us for more information.