Whatsapps Privacy Policy Update (As at 13th Jan 2021)

Whatsapp's recent privacy policy update resulted in a huge user migration to other messaging platforms like Signal or Telegram.

But what's the big deal with this update that caused such a shift?

Digital Citizen breaks down all the myths surrounding this topic and let's you decide whether it's worth jumping ship.

The recent move by Facebook (which owns Whatsapp and Instagram) provides an opportunity to earn more money for the company.

First off, the privacy policy assures that your messages are still end-end-encrypted. That means Facebook cannot read your private messages.

However, here's all the data they can access:

Your phone model, your O.S (phone Operating System), battery status, signal strength, Time Zone, IP address, Whatsapp usage - such as when you were last online - payment details, status updates, group details (such as group name and picture description) profile picture and about info!

The policy further includes "...information on how you interact with others (including businesses) ..." Although vague, it suggests some level of monitoring to target specific ads/content.

They have also openly mentioned that they will be involved in
"... making suggestions for you (for example, of friends or groups connections, or of interesting content), personalising features and content...and showing relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products..." .

The bottom line is that Facebook is trying to find a way to squeeze out as much information about you apart from directly reading messages and build a user profile to target ads. This isn't brand new information, but for an app that was initially pitched for security, it raises a huge red flag.