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Thursday, March 4, 2021

WhatsApp Privacy Policy: Users seek alternatives

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WhatsApp started rolling out in-app notifications to Android and iOS users revealing an update in its Terms of Service and privacy policy earlier this week. The notification informed users of an update about the way user data is handled by the platform, how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage, and the company partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the Facebook company products. It also alerted users that they need to agree to the new terms and policy by 8 February 2021 in order to continue using WhatsApp.

Since the update, there has been a lot of conversation on the internet about WhatsApp sharing user information with Facebook. Many users on Twitter have been getting around one another into getting off WhatsApp and making a shift to other encrypted messaging platforms like Signal and Telegram. SpaceX, Tesla, and Boring Company CEO Elon Musk joined the talk too, seeking people to leave WhatsApp. Late two nights before, he posted on Twitter, “Use Signal”.

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Messaging app Signal has now also responded to the ongoing conversation about deleting WhatsApp.

Unlike WhatsApp, messengers like Signal and Telegram do not share users’ data. The new iOS 14 privacy feature even makes it easy for users to find out how apps share their data.

TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher recently tweeted about how Signal and Telegram are now better alternatives if you are concerned about your privacy.

The screenshots in the tweet compare how the different apps utilize user data. Of the four, the two Facebook platforms – WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger – share purchases, location, contacts, identifiers, financial information, and others from users. Signal and Telegram, on the other hand, use no data linked to users.

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