Crux of the Matter
Let’s start by taking a look at the notification received:
What If We Don’t Agree To It?
What Are The Changes?
The most significant ones are how WhatsApp shares information with Facebook and its subsidiaries. Till now, existing users were provided with the option, to not share their WhatsApp account information with Facebook.
The Hardware Information Collected
- Battery level
- Signal strength
- App version
- Browser information
- Mobile network
- Connection information (phone number and ISP)
- IP address
- Device operations information
Where Will This Data Be Located?
Whatsapp says it uses Facebook’s global infrastructure and data centers for data storage, including the ones in the US. This was not explicitly mentioned in the previous policy. It also says that in some cases, data will be transferred to the other parts where Facebook’s affiliate companies are based, adding that “these transfers are necessary to provide the global Services set forth in our Terms.”
Will Our Messages Remain Encrypted?
Yes, Whatsapp stays end-to-end encrypted i.e it can’t see your messages, or share it with anyone. This is because the data is encrypted on the sender’s device, so only the recipient can decrypt it.
Then What About Payments?
Data Collected By Other Messenger Apps
- Signal – claims to only use mobile number for registration and not link it to the user’s identity.
- iMessage – Email address, Phone number, Search history and Device ID.
- Telegram – Name, Phone number, Contacts and User ID.
- WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app developed by Tencent. First released in 2011, it became the world’s largest standalone mobile app in 2018, with over 1 billion monthly active users. WeChat has been described as China’s “app for everything” and a “super app” because of its wide range of functions.
- Terms and Conditions May Apply is a documentary that addresses how corporations and the government utilize the information that users provide when agreeing to browse a website, install an application, or purchase goods online. Made in 2013 by Cullen Hoback, it discusses the language used in user-service agreements on the World Wide Web, and how online service providers collect and use users’ and customers’ information.
- Gadgets Now – The amount of data collected by WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram
- Scroll – India’s move to restrict WhatsApp from monopolising digital payments could inspire other countries