Is it true that WhatsApp has compromised on its users’ privacy? Is it time we switch to other chat apps?

The breakout of WhatsApp’s new privacy policy has flooded the internet. We all are witnessing the massive switch to other messaging apps like SIGNAL and TELEGRAM. 

Has WhatsApp attempted a Privacy Invasion? What is the new policy really about?

This month, WhatsApp updated its terms and conditions with a new privacy policy. According to the new terms and conditions, WhatsApp users will allow Facebook and its subsidiaries to access their personal data like phone numbers and locations. 

WhatsApp gives no other choice to users other than accepting the policy by February 8. The users will no longer be able to use the free messaging platform if they come to terms with the new update. There is utter chaos amongst the concerned WhatsApp users as they now rummage for new alternatives. 

Are we falling for rumors? The misinformation surrounding the New WhatsApp Policy.

Every user seems to feel deceived by WhatsApp. A massive number of tweets and a trending anti- WhatsApp movement on social media condemn the updated terms and conditions.  

 And therefore, WhatsApp finally decided to address these rumors and false information. 

WhatsApp had recently put light on the issue and stated that it has no intentions of attacking its users’ privacy. It says that WhatsApp will not be sharing any content of messages with Facebook. All the messages are decrypted, and hence the new privacy changes do not affect our messages’ privacy. 

However, by accepting the terms and conditions, the user will be allowing the app to access his metadata. The metadata includes :

  • Whom are you sending messages to
  • When are you sending the messages
  • From where are you sending the message

Many of the users believe that their private conversation is no longer safe. Whereas, WhatsApp claims that that is not the case, and the users have been led falsely.

To clear the misunderstanding between its users, WhatsApp has halted the implementation of the updated policy and has extended the deadline. WhatsApp’s new privacy policy has been delayed till May 15. 

Why do some of us still stick with WhatsApp?

While private-minded people struggle to make new choices and transitions, some of the WhatsApp users remain unbothered.

Probably one of the reasons WhatsApp has dared to bring out such a controversial policy update is because of the huge fanbase it has built. Users might continue to use the platform to stay in touch with friends and family already using the same app. 

Other than this, some WhatsApp users have decided to continue using the app due to the social contract with Facebook. They have no issue sharing their data with the apps as long as the messaging platform is free.

For some, privacy may not be the biggest concern, but there are other alternatives to switch to for those who are not willing to risk it.

Should we turn towards other chat apps? Are SIGNAL and TELEGRAM the best options?

According to the experts, both Signal and Telegram are more ‘trusted’ apps. Both of them are private and secure. Just what a WhatsApp user is looking for now.

Signal is owned by a non-profit organization, while a for-profit company owns telegram. Still, neither of them is owned by a huge tech company, unlike WhatsApp. 

Both of them are free and come with standard user-friendly features like stickers, photo and file sharing, voice and video calls, etc. All the user needs is his phone number to sign up for either of the messaging apps. 

You can use Signal and Telegram on iPhone, iPad, and Android. Also, optional desktop apps are available on both platforms so that users can sync and chat on a Windows PC, Mac, or Linux system. 

As we speak, masses are switching to Signal and Telegram. After the release of WhatsApp’s new policy from January 4, Signal had 7.5 million downloads, a 4,200% increase on the previous week. Whereas, Telegram had 9 million downloads, a 91% increase.

Demi Jenkins

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