• Daniyar Kylyzhov

WhatsApp tried to clarify what user data is leaving Facebook

WhatsApp messenger created an additional page in the FAQ section, in which he explained how the new user privacy rules work and what data is transferred to Facebook. The messenger team did this in response to public criticism after the announcement of a new policy and rules for the provision of services.

So, WhatsApp assures that neither the team of the platform itself nor Facebook can view users' correspondence or listen to their calls. The company said in a statement that the messenger does not store call and message logs does not transmit people's contacts and location data to Facebook, while the content of the chats is available only to their members. In addition, WhatsApp notes that people can use the disappearing message mode or download their data to improve privacy.

The company claims that the changes to the policy do not affect user privacy in any way. According to WhatsApp representatives, the update to the rules includes changes regarding messaging with companies on WhatsApp and also contains transparent information about how the messenger collects and uses data.

Earlier this was announced on his Twitter page by the head of the messenger Will Cathcart. He posted a 10-post thread in which he revealed that he had watched discussions about data security on WhatsApp. Cathcart assured that WhatsApp and Facebook cannot see users' private correspondence thanks to end-to-end encryption, which the company considers to be the main protection of privacy. According to him, the changes in policy are related to an attempt to make the messenger more transparent.

In early January, WhatsApp warned users that by February 8, they must agree to Facebook and its subsidiaries collecting data from the messenger, including phone numbers. Otherwise, access to the messenger will be closed. The company noted that this does not apply to users in the European Union and the UK, where there are strict laws regarding the collection of user data.

Changes to WhatsApp's privacy policy have triggered a massive churn of users to other platforms. In the period from 6 to 10 January, the Signal messenger was downloaded 7.5 million times, which is 4200% more than a week earlier. This happened after Elon Musk advised to follow him on his Twitter page. At the same time, the founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, said that in the first week of the year, the number of messenger users exceeded 500 million people per month.


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