Confusion Still Ringing Around WhatsApp’s Looming New Privacy Policy

Ever since it was officially announced earlier this year, a lot has been said about WhatsApp’s upcoming update with privacy infringement being at the core of the current debate. CyberSec-Clinique, a female-led Information Technology company based in Johannesburg, is lending its voice and providing expert insights on the matter.

“WhatsApp’s privacy policy has caused a huge uproar among many individuals none more so than with its existing customers around the world. And despite the statement the platform released to reassure its users and subsequently moving out the original date for the update, most people remain unconvinced especially since privacy typically involves the right of a person to choose, within reason, the information they wish to keep hidden from the public, something most are viewing WhatsApp as potentially manipulating,” said Doreen Mokoena, Chief Executive Officer at CyberSec-Clinique.

“The fact that there’s still confusion among individuals each with their own opinions doesn’t help matters but with the date effectively pushed back, it gives both the platform and people time to properly dissect what all of this means and part of what we’re looking to do at CyberSec is to help clarify all this apparent confusion. In simple terms and ultimately, the proposed new WhatsApp privacy policy will give permission that allows the platform to share information with its parent company Facebook for advertising purposes and to better know and target various marketing messages to consumers,” added Mokoena. 

With WhatsApp receiving services from Facebook, the information users share with the latter is then used to help WhatsApp to:

  • Provide users with fast and reliable messaging and calling around the world and understand how its services and features are performing.
  • Ensure safety, security, and integrity across WhatsApp and Facebook Company Products by removing spam accounts and combating abusive activity.
  • To connect WhatsApp users with Facebook Company Products.

“One of the other questions that this has many people asking themselves is if there are ways to prevent their data from being shared by these apps. The answer is yes with various ways in which users can either block/deny their data from being shared or opt-out from existing data sharing subscriptions. Cases vary from different applications; however, the most common case is that websites will notify the user in advance to subscribe to the privacy regulations and a user can either allow or deny access to their data,” concluded Mokoena.

Featured Photo by AARN GIRI on Unsplash

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