WhatsApp messenger has updated its user agreement. It added a clause on the transfer of personal data of users to Facebook.
Those who do not accept the new rules before February 8 will not be able to use the application.
Thus, WhatsApp, in fact, issued an ultimatum to its users. Which, quite expectedly, outraged many of them. The messenger began to be accused of violating confidentiality (and people immediately looked for an alternative), although WhatsApp already managed to declare that everything was not so simple.
What exactly is WhatsApp changing?
First, the part that appeared in the new rules:
"As a Facebook company, WhatsApp receives information from other Facebook companies and provides information to other Facebook companies. We may use the information we receive from these companies and they may use the information we provide to enable our services to function."
Now the messenger can share with Facebook the user's account registration data, transaction data, service information, data on interactions with other users and companies, IP address and other information.
All of this is necessary for greater security, fighting spam and improving user experience, WhatsApp clarifies.
At this point, we will clarify that the WhatsApp messenger belongs to Facebook.
In December 2020, the US Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit for systemic violation of the law by Facebook.
The FTC considered that Facebook "illegally maintains a personal monopoly on social networks," systematically suppresses competitors, simply buying them up.
And they demanded that the court oblige Facebook to sell Instagram and WhatsApp, prohibit imposing anti-competitive conditions on software developers, and also continue to carry out such transactions only with the permission of the authorities.
After WhatsApp's statement, the messenger began to be accused of violating privacy. And competing messengers began to talk about the transition of some WhatsApp users to them.
"Millions of people are outraged by the latest change to the terms of WhatsApp, which now says users must submit all their personal data to Facebook's advertising system. It's no surprise that the flight of users from WhatsApp to Telegram, which has been going on for several years, has accelerated," wrote the founder of Telegram Pavel Durov.
He also stated that "WhatsApp seems to have switched to hidden marketing." In particular, according to Durov, bots were found spreading inaccurate information about Telegram on the network.
The head of SpaceX and Tesla, as well as (at the moment) the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, made a practical recommendation on his Twitter - to use the Signal messenger instead of WhatsApp.
By the way
Musk has been at war with Facebook for a long time. Previously, he had a conflict with the social network about the principles of processing personal data of users. As a result, Musk in 2018 removed his personal page from Facebook, as well as the pages of his companies - SpaceX and Tesla.
So, about Musk's recommendation. A funny incident happened to it.
After his tweet, investors rushed to buy up Signal shares, but they confused the messenger with a small company that has a similar name - Signal Advance.
As a result, the shares of the latter rose 527% on Thursday, and rose another 91% on Friday. In total, over two days, Signal Advance's share value increased from 60 cents to $ 7.19, and the company's market capitalization increased from $ 55 million to $ 660 million.
"It is clear that people want to invest in Signal's record growth, but this is not us. We are an independent company, and our only investment is in your privacy," responded the Signal messenger on Twitter.
Signal. What is this messenger?
The Signal messenger uses end-to-end encryption in all conversations. All messages that are sent and received at the very beginning are encrypted with a special key, and then decrypted directly on the recipients' devices.
Signal also lacks ads and has features such as a message self-destruct timer, protection against previews when switching applications, and a password prompt when idle.
What does WhatsApp say?
WhatsApp head Will Cathcart tried to explain that the new messenger policy would keep users' conversations private.
In particular, on his Twitter account, he wrote the following:
"With end-to-end encryption, we can't see your private chats or calls, just like Facebook. We are committed to this technology and are committed to protecting it globally."
WhatsApp has updated its policy "to be transparent and better describe additional features of how people interact with business," he said. And the current changes should make it easier for companies to respond to user requests.
"In fact, about 175 million people send messages to a business account on WhatsApp every day, and more and more people want to do it. In addition, businesses need tools to respond to these messages quickly and efficiently. Today it is too complex and features like Shops and Pay can help people buy the things they want from companies on WhatsApp,” he added.