The concerns that arose among users are evicted in the strong demand that it caused in the Russian social network Telegram
WhatsApp announced this Friday that will extend until May 15 the date the users they can review the new terms and conditions of use of the application. At first the limit had been determined on February 8, something that the service had announced with a poster that caused the alarm of many Internet users and, in some cases, their migration to Alternative messengers like Telegram or Signal.
As explained in a statement, “WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: that what you share with your friends and your family stays between you. This means that We will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see those private messages. That is why we do not keep records of who you are texting or calling with. We also cannot know your shared location and we do not share the contacts with Facebook“.
In addition, he assured that “with the update nothing of that changes. The update includes new options that people will have to chat with a business on WhatsApp, and offers more transparency about how we collect and use data. Although not everyone interacts with a business on WhatsApp today, we believe that more people will choose to do so in the future, and it is important that people are aware of these services. This update does not extend our ability to share data with Facebook. ”
Another point that he clarified is that when the deadline arrives (now on May 15) there will be no account suspensions or anything similar; From then on, they will seek that people gradually accept the new term of use, to enable a greater reach of WhatsApp Business, which is the tool for companies with which Facebook seeks to make money within the messenger.
How the changes will affect you
The main subject within the changes in the terms and conditions of WhatsApp is that, now, the data of its users will be “crossed” with those of the social network Facebook, Instagram, and the other companies owned by Zuckerberg.
Broadly speaking, this means that this network of networks will have the possibility of exchanging the data that a person provides in each one of them, in order to increase their respective income, mainly from the sale of advertising, which is their main main source of profit.
“There is nothing free in life, and less in Internet“, emphasizes to Sputnik José Luis López, director of the computer security company ESET in Uruguay. Like any other in the network, WhatsApp is not a free service not at all, he reaffirms, but it is a “money-making tool”, in this case from the sale of users’ personal data to companies that will later offer them advertising, a fact that, according to him, the general public tends to forget.
However, this happened before. The first time WhatsApp is downloaded, the application asks the user to accept the classic “I have read and accept the terms and conditions” for its use. What happens is that, in general, “a lot of people ignore it, and very little read it,” says López.
Since 2014 WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, after Zuckerberg’s company acquired it for a value of $ 16 billion. Since then, by default, both social networks they have their data crossed, with each other and with the rest of the companies owned by the entrepreneur. The central difference, López remarks, is that before the conditions gave the user the option of whether to allow their data to be shared with Facebook or not, an option that will no longer be available in the new privacy terms.
WhatsApp is not a free service at all as it is a money making tool
Although the user could choose not to link the data of one social network and another, most were doing so by default, explains López, so, in essence, “it is not something new, it is something normal: what happens is that now in the WhatsApp conditions it will be made explicit“.
Federico Kirshbaum, a security expert and member of the annual conference on Argentine computer security Ekoparty, analyzes it in the same way. In summary, what changes is that now the company explains in detail, -and therefore it is legally protected-, what kind of data are you going to use, under the premise of “consent: what I collect from your information you have to know”, he tells Sputnik.
What is that information? In summary, your first and last name, the device (s) from which you use the service, your telephone number, your contacts, your location and, in networks such as Facebook and Instagram, all the content with which the user interacts and in which he or she expresses interest -pages of music, art, animals, or whatever-, which will then determine what kind of advertising will be suggested to you on these social networks.
Even so, one of the points that the company has emphasized in clarifying is that users’ personal messages are not, in any way, visible to them or to other companies.
“With end-to-end encryption, we cannot see your conversations or private calls, neither can Facebook. We are committed to this technology and we are committed to defending it globally,” WhatsApp chief William stressed on January 8. Cathcart, on his Twitter account.