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Last week, nearly 2 billion users around the world who used WhatsApp (Facebook’s instant messaging service) received a huge pop-up window when they launched the application.

“WhatsApp is updating its terms and privacy policy,” it said.

Click results in a 4,000 words Privacy Policy, Which states that WhatsApp now reserves the right to share data such as phone numbers, IP addresses, and payments made through the application with Facebook and other Facebook-owned platforms (such as Instagram). It also stated that if people use WhatsApp to talk to companies that use Facebook hosted technology to manage these chats, companies may use these messages to target people who advertise on Facebook.

Unless people agree to these new terms, they will be locked out of WhatsApp on February 8.

Online, the rebound is fast. “Use signal,” Tweet Tesla CEO Elon Musk told his 42 million fans that he was referring to the open source WhatsApp alternative, which is popular with journalists and activists who deal with sensitive information. “I use [Signal] Every day, I am not dead yet,” Tweet American whistleblower Edward Snowden.In Turkey, the media office of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the country’s Ministry of Defense announced that they are working Give up on WhatsApp After the policy change, the prelude to the recruitment was unveiled.

Signal has become the top free app on Google and Apple App Stores in most countries/regions around the world. According to data from the data analysis company Sensor Tower, more than 8.8 million people downloaded Signal on iPhones and Android phones in the week of January 4, compared with 246,000 in the previous week. Telegram, another WhatsApp alternative, Say More than 25 million people joined in the past 72 hours on Tuesday.

📈 After @elonmusk and @Snowden tweeted, over 5 million people downloaded #Signal 😱👁‍🗨 #privacy #whatsapp our report 👉 https://t.co/qgRqvJ6940 this weekend


“I am worried about my privacy,” J. Paul, a marketing professional from Mumbai, told BuzzFeed News that he only wanted to identify it by the initials of his name. “Facebook monetized its products in a way that violated users.”

Apart from Facebook itself, WhatsApp is Facebook’s largest and most popular service.In markets such as Brazil and India, the app is Default way The exchange of hundreds of millions of people. But so far, Facebook bought it for $22 billion in 2014. It has basically remained independent and has not tried to make money from it. Now, the situation is changing.

“We remain committed to protecting the privacy and security of people’s private information,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, providing A link Go to the page explaining the new policy that the company released earlier this week. “In the long run, the best way to maintain end-to-end encryption is to have a business model that protects people’s private communications.”

The page stated that WhatsApp believes that messaging with companies is different from messaging with friends and family, and breaks down data that the company may share with Facebook in the future.

The new privacy policy will enable Facebook to earn more than 21 billion U.S. dollars in revenue from advertising targeted at the crowd in the last quarter of 2020, and to earn more revenue using WhatsApp. But doing so means trying to fork the app’s large user base for more data-and may risk sending much of it to competitors.

“If you spend $22 billion to acquire something, sooner or later shareholders will want you to monetize this asset,” New York technology lawyer and online civil liberties activist Mishi Choudhary told BuzzFeed News.

WhatsApp was founded by two former Yahoo employees, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, and initially charged people one dollar a year. After Facebook used the application for free, the growth exploded. In the first few years after purchasing the app in 2014, Facebook basically did not use WhatsApp. But in 2018, it launched WhatsApp Business, allowing businesses to use WhatsApp to communicate with customers. For the first time, Facebook hopes that WhatsApp will start generating revenue.

Last year, WhatsApp added more business-oriented features, such as airline tickets and shopping receipts, table of Contents, with paymentWhatsApp said that there are more than 50 million companies on the platform, and more than 175 million people send messages to companies through the app every day.

“They want WhatsApp to become a payment service and shopping portal, and Facebook’s data collection will cover another aspect of your life,” said Devdutta Mukhopadhyay, a lawyer at the Internet Freedom Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting numbers. Freedom, tell BuzzFeed News. “This is the content of their latest privacy policy changes.”

“I don’t trust Facebook,” Paul said. He recently disabled his Facebook account, but he still uses Instagram and WhatsApp. “I was asked to participate, but I don’t believe it,” he said.

Since Facebook acquired WhatsApp, people’s trust in WhatsApp has declined. Koum defended the sale of the app to Facebook in 2014 Blog post, Stating that the company is not interested in people’s personal data. “If working with Facebook means we have to change our values, we won’t do it,” he wrote. However, two years later, WhatsApp Announce It will begin to share some data, including phone numbers and the time when people last used the service through Facebook—a move taken by the European Union. fine 110 million euros.

Misinformation swept through the current backlash. Many people do not realize that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy only applies to chats with businesses, not private conversations with friends and family, and urge others to boycott the application.

“To be honest, I don’t think most people who are currently angrily turning to Signal or Telegram have actually read the new privacy policy,” Mukhopadhyay said. “No matter what the complicated legal documents say, people’s life experience tells them that they can’t believe that a company like Facebook owns their data.”

In response, Facebook is on a charm offensive. In India, the company’s largest market with more than 400 million users, the company posted full-page ads on the front pages of major national newspapers to clarify that it is not possible to see people’s private messages or listen to their calls. “Respect for your privacy has been written into our DNA,” the WhatsApp advertisement said, echoing a sentence in Koum’s 2014 blog post.

Facebook executives, for example Head of Instagram And Facebook Head of Virtual Reality, Has tweeted to support the application.

On Friday, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart (Will Cathcart) also tweeted a series of tweets, emphasizing that companies cannot see people’s personal chats and that the new privacy policy only applies to messages with companies.

He wrote: “It’s important for us to make it clear that this update describes business communications and will not change the data sharing practices of WhatsApp and Facebook.” “It will not affect people’s communication with friends or family around the world. The way of communicating privately.”

Cathcart did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.

Despite strong protests, it may be difficult to abandon WhatsApp in countries such as India. Paul, a marketing expert from Mumbai, said that he will continue to use the app until he urges everyone he knows to switch to Signal.

“It’s not an easy task,” he said, “because WhatsApp is very convenient.”


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