DNA Exclusive: WhatsApp’s latest policy update may further encroach on the privacy of users?

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New Delhi: If you’re not paying for it, you become the product. This simply conveys a message that if you are getting a service free then you yourself are a product, and the same has been proved again by a recent WhatsApp notification, which was received by millions of Indian users. The in-app notification from WhatsApp is part of its upcoming global roll-out for over 2 billion users.

WhatsApp`s new terms of service and privacy policy, which will come into effect on February 8, has asked users to either accept the changes in its terms of service and privacy policy or their accounts will be deleted. The message suggests the key changes in how WhatsApp will collect and process users` information going forward, and the partnership with Facebook, its parent company, as part of a larger unification drive between the family of apps.

The policy updates read, “WhatsApp must receive or collect some information to operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our services, including when you install, access, or use our services.”

“Businesses you interact with using our services may provide us with information about their interactions with you. We require each of these businesses to act in accordance with applicable law when providing any information to us,” it further adds.

During its launch in the year 2009, WhatsApp has now brought new terms and lured us to provide its services free stating that it will not share your messages or data with anyone. Now, when every third person in the world uses WhatsApp, and this mammoth data is likely to be used to extend Facebook’s business.

You use WhatsApp to keep in touch with your family, friends, and your office. As many as 40 crore people in India use this social messaging app in their personal and professional lives. Not only this, even court summons are being sent to this app, as it has become an important part of our life. Many of you might have pressed the button to Agree without reading the latest WhatsApp notification. You should now understand what kind of data WhatsApp will share with Facebook.

After getting your permission, your mobile phone numbers and all contacts in your address book will now be with WhatsApp, which will also know your status message. Further, it will have information about your bank balance with the help of WhatsApp Payment Service. Wherever you spend your money, the app will gather each and every piece of information.

In the coming day, companies will use WhatsApp for payment, and then it will have key pieces of information related to your finance. Your location can be detected through your mobile phone. Thus, WhatsApp will have all information about your home, office address, and your relatives and friends.

Which market you like to visit or which restaurant you want to visit, and which mobile phone do you use. WhatsApp will have all pieces of information and will be kept on its server for a long time. Your message will not be read directly, but who do you talk to, or whom did you send messages and in which WhatsApp group you are the most active will be known to it.

With all these pieces of information, your profile will be created, and WhatsApp keeps a tab on you. You must be wondering how will WhatsApp get the benefit from this profile? This data will be transferred to Facebook from WhatsApp. Facebook has already built large data centers to keep information related to millions of people. These data will be shared with other companies.

This simply conveys the fact that WhatsApp is not a free messaging service. Not only this, but the claims of other apps to guarantee you free service is also false. The truth is in lieu of free service from these apps, you give your valuable data to these companies for free.

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