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Agree To WhatsApp Privacy Policy, Or Leave #548321
02/22/21 04:55 PM
02/22/21 04:55 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,500
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What Happens If I Don’t Accept WhatsApp Privacy Policy?

Here’s what will happen if you don’t accept WhatsApp policy. You can either comply with the new policy or you can look for alternatives. The new WhatsApp privacy policy was taken back by the company when it came under fire from a large section of its users.

Now, WhatsApp is making a second attempt at explaining its new privacy policy. This time around, the company has issued more detailed clarifications about what’s in the new WhatsApp privacy policy. So if you’re asking “what happens if I don’t accept WhatsApp privacy policy?” — here’s the answer.

Agree To WhatsApp Privacy Policy, Or Leave.

If you disagree with the WhatsApp privacy policy after May 15, your WhatsApp account will become inactive. WhatsApp has created an FAQ page showing the stages of making an account inactive.

The page says that you will be able to receive calls and notifications for a “short time” but you won’t be able to read or send messages from WhatsApp. So your WhatsApp account will be there but you won’t be able to use it.

After May 15, the WhatsApp policy for inactive accounts will apply to your account. This means that unless you agree to the new privacy policy, your WhatsApp account will become inactive and get deleted in 120 days. So this is what happens if you don’t accept WhatsApp privacy policy.

A Gun To The Head?

We understand that a platform needs to collect some data to function and offer the kind of integration WhatsApp offers. From placing food orders to getting movie tickets in my inbox, it is certainly convenient.

However, enforcing a WhatsApp business policy update to every user is unfair. The company can offer one-time permissions for collection and access to such data. That way, you can allow or decline sharing data with a particular business, even with WhatsApp.

Android and iOS offer one-time permissions for access to device location and other services. It is a tried and tested method, and it gives users control over when they want to share their data. From where I see it, WhatsApp is cutting off basic features to make users accept a policy that can and should be entirely optional.

Live and let live
SA regulator: WhatsApp cannot share contact information [Re: Short] #548676
03/08/21 02:51 PM
03/08/21 02:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,500
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South Africa's information regulator says WhatsApp cannot share users' contact information

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Facebook Inc cannot share any contact information it collects from WhatsApp users in South Africa with its other properties without first obtaining authorisation from the country’s Information Regulator (IR), the agency said on Wednesday.

In January, the Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp informed users it was preparing a new privacy policy, under which it could share some data, including location and phone numbers, with Facebook and its other units such as Instagram and Messenger.[nL4N2KP10Q]

The move has sparked backlash among users in South Africa and elsewhere, and prompted many to opt for rival services such as Signal or Telegram.

“WhatsApp cannot without obtaining prior authorisation from the IR process any contact information of its users for a purpose other than the one for which the number was specifically intended at collection, with the aim of linking that information jointly with information processed by other Facebook companies,” the regulator said.

The regulator said its decision was in accordance with section 57 of the Protection of Personal Information Act, South Africa’s data protection law.

The agency also said that it has written to Facebook South Africa and outlined its concerns about the company’s privacy policy.


A WhatsApp spokesperson said the company is reviewing the regulator’s letter, adding that the update does not expand the company’s ability to share data with Facebook, nor does it impact the privacy of users’ messages with friends or family.

“WhatsApp does not share your contacts with Facebook and that policy applies to users everywhere, including in South Africa,” the spokesperson added.

Originally Posted by WIRED
WhatsApp Has Shared Your Data With Facebook for Years, Actually
A pop-up notification has alerted the messaging app's users to a practice that's been in place since 2016.

When WhatsApp launched a major update to its privacy policy in August 2016, it started sharing user information and metadata with Facebook. At that time, the messaging service offered its billion existing users 30 days to opt out of at least some of the sharing. If you chose to opt out at the time, WhatsApp will continue to honor that choice. The feature is long gone from the app settings, but you can check whether you're opted out through the “Request account info” function in Settings.

Meanwhile, the billion-plus users WhatsApp has added since 2016, along with anyone who missed that opt-out window, have had their data shared with Facebook all this time. WhatsApp emphasized to WIRED that this week's privacy policy changes do not actually impact WhatsApp's existing practices or behavior around sharing data with Facebook.

The regulator is also “very concerned” that citizens of the European Union will receive significantly higher privacy protection than people in South Africa and Africa generally.

“Our legislation is very similar to that of the EU. It was based on that model deliberately, as it provides a significantly better model for the protection of personal information than that in other jurisdictions,” Chairperson of the IR Pansy Tlakula said.

“We do not understand why Facebook has adopted this differentiation between Europe and Africa,” she said.

The changes to WhatsApp’s privacy policy have come under scrutiny globally, with Turkey’s competition board launching an investigation and a legal challenge filed in India.

Live and let live
Why You Should Quit WhatsApp [Re: Short] #548725
03/10/21 11:50 PM
03/10/21 11:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,500
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Why You Should Quit WhatsApp As Critical New Update Confirmed
Article by: Zak Doffman in Forbes

WhatsApp may have ridden out its privacy backlash, but there will be more to come as some of you lose access to your accounts. And, worse, WhatsApp’s nightmare start to 2021 has exposed a serious problem for its 2 billion users that seems impossible to resolve. Millions more are likely to leave. Should you do the same?

As a security professional, it’s difficult to advise WhatsApp users to quit the app. The messaging platform has done more to popularize secure messaging than anyone else. But it was also acquired by the world’s most avaricious data harvesting machine. And it was always inevitable that there would be a reckoning at some point.

WhatsApp has now faced down its 2021 privacy backlash—but it has done so by focusing on its security credentials, by playing down its data sharing with Facebook, and by ignoring its metadata harvesting issue. “Metadata—data about your data,” Cyjax CISO Ian Thornton-Trump explains, “is almost as powerful as the actual data.”

Let’s not forget that the recent backlash came in two parts. First, Apple introduced its privacy labels, exposing WhatsApp for collecting much more of our data than Signal, Telegram and iMessage. Whether that data is shared with Facebook is important, but not as important as the rationale for collecting it in the first place.

WhatsApp’s privacy label is awful. It’s the only leading secure messenger that harvests “data linked to you,” including your device ID, for “developer’s advertising and marketing.” It also collects your contact info, user ID and device ID for ominously vague “other purposes.” Other messengers collect your data to tailor functionality. WhatsApp is harvesting it for other reasons.

“Other apps,” WhatsApp has now told users, “say they’re better because they know even less information than WhatsApp—we believe people are looking for apps to be both reliable and safe, even if that requires WhatsApp having some limited data.”

But it isn’t “limited data.” It’s a long list of data, all linked to your identity. We know why WhatsApp wants your metadata—because it tells us in its privacy policy. And no-one claims Signal or iMessage or Telegram are unreliable or unsafe because they collect less data from their users. And how does WhatsApp collecting your data for advertising tally with it “requiring” your data to keep its app “reliable and safe?”

Remember—if the product is free, then you’re the product. This isn’t complicated.

[Linked Image]
The second part of that backlash, the forced change of terms, hit hard because it seemed WhatsApp was collecting this data and sharing it with Facebook—that was the misreporting. It’s all good, WhatsApp said, we don’t share all your data with Facebook. But suddenly WhatsApp had shone a light on the fact that there is some data sharing. The fact this isn’t new is hardly the point. Those privacy labels are stark.

More importantly, the rationale behind collecting all this data in the first place was downplayed. It seemed that WhatsApp’s was taking the view that the backlash would blow over and we would all forget. We collect it because we need it, was the message. But there was no word on exactly what was being used, and how. This is your data. You have the right to know what’s being collected and how it’s being used.

Yes, WhatsApp is a free platform. And they are completely entitled to say we collect certain data fields and use those to send you ads that might be relevant. We, as users, can then choose whether that’s acceptable to us or not. What they’re not entitled to do is obfuscate, to talk around the subject and refuse to provide transparency, to say that it’s an inevitable and intangible part of this free service they offer.

Ironically, most users accept that some form of data collection is a price worth paying for free platforms. But there has to be a limit. And there has to be transparency. It is impossible to argue that the data collection is proportionate with the services on offer. Facebook reported $28.1 billion in revenues last quarter—it’s not scraping a living.

WhatsApp’s specific backlash has been blown out of proportion. The change of terms is more benign than it was (mis)reported at the time. WhatsApp’s owner, Facebook, wants to enable its business customers to communicate with you on WhatsApp, and only if you agree to those contacts. If you do, though, some of those messages might be stored off of WhatsApp, outside its fabled end-to-end encryption.

This is a non-issue. Who cares about the security of your messages with your dry cleaner or supermarket—especially given you have opted in each specific chat? But it still breaks WhatsApp’s existing data handling terms and so the change needs to be made. As WhatsApp says, it needs to sell services to keep the messenger free. But the change has opened WhatsApp to belated scrutiny on its metadata—and that has not gone well. WhatsApp’s privacy issue is not going to be put back into its Pandora’s Box.

You now have a few weeks to accept WhatsApp’s new terms. After that, WhatsApp has now confirmed in a not especially helpful FAQ, “you won't have full functionality of WhatsApp until you accept. For a short time,” it says, “you'll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won't be able to read or send messages from the app.”

WhatsApp says that “if you haven’t accepted by [May 15], WhatsApp will not delete your account,” but you will, effectively, lose use of your account after “a short time.”

So, what does this actually mean? You will still be able to access the account for a while, albeit you won’t be able to read or send any messages. In WhatsApp’s terminology, your account will seemingly become “inactive.” And here WhatsApp’s policy is clear. “To maintain security, limit data retention, and protect the privacy of our users, WhatsApp accounts are generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity. Inactivity means the user hasn’t connected to WhatsApp.”

All of this is confusing. WhatsApp hasn't said it will delete accounts after that “short time,” or even how long a grace period that is. But the media is reporting that deletions will take place and that’s not being corrected.

Even WhatsApp appeared confused over its plans as it delayed the February 8 deadline for accepting the new terms. On January 15th, WhatsApp said “we will make sure users have plenty of time to review and understand the terms—rest assured we never planned to delete any accounts based on this and will not do so in the future.”

[Linked Image]
That implies that accounts won’t be deleted. And maybe they won’t—despite headlines warning exactly that. I asked WhatsApp again whether they would confirm any of this, and they declined to answer. All WhatsApp says is that it has “extended the effective date to May 15th. If you haven’t accepted by then, WhatsApp will not delete your account. However, you won't have full functionality of WhatsApp until you accept.”

Of course, one could be more cynical about a tweet sent on January 15, mid-backlash, that assured users that accounts would not be deleted over the change of terms, “we never planned to delete accounts based on this and will not do so in the future,” which was followed a month later by the news that accounts would be at best locked out and at worst deleted if terms are not accepted by May 15.

WhatsApp also declined to comment on this apparent contradiction.

[Linked Image]
Back in January, I advised users to stick with WhatsApp, albeit to maybe trial other options, particularly Signal, in parallel. I said there was no reason to ditch WhatsApp, that the issue around the change of terms had been overblown. But the way WhatsApp has managed this situation might just change that advice.

This was an opportunity to listen and engage, not to blitz users with slick PR while sticking to Plan A. Apple has changed the game by introducing privacy labels and removing ad tracking. Platforms either need to step up and change how they behave, or they risk losing users to alternatives that will. Facebook has made its stance against Apple’s changes clear. WhatsApp is doing the same.

The new privacy terms are fine to agree—there’s nothing to worry about there. But WhatsApp’s stubborn data collection and refusal to budge or even review the situation is pure Facebook. This is the clearest sign yet as to the direction WhatsApp is heading.

It’s unrealistic for many of us to quit WhatsApp altogether—unless we refuse to accept the new terms, of course. But replacing it as our default messenger is feasible. The same happened to SMS for many of us after all—as we turned to WhatsApp, ironically. So, is it seriously time to stop using WhatsApp? Maybe this time it actually is.

Live and let live
Re: WhatsApp may stop working on iPhones with older iOS [Re: Short] #548867
03/16/21 03:24 PM
03/16/21 03:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,500
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WhatsApp may stop working on iPhones with older iOS versions
Popular messaging platform WhatsApp will stop working on certain iPhones running on iOS 9, as per a report by WhatsApp tracker WABetaInfo.

A report by WABetaInfo, a website that tracks changes and features on WhatsApp, said that the WhatsApp version 2.21.50 beta no longer supports iPhones running iOS 9. Thus only those iPhone users who are using iOS 10 or above will be able to use WhatsApp.

The messaging platform has not yet updated the information as it can’t be found in its FAQ and WABetaInfo mentioned that the page has yet to be updated. This development means that iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s will lose support for the popular messaging app. Also, iPhone 5 was updated till iOS 10.3.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp will also release an improved version of its archived chats. According to WABetaInfo, this feature is still under development. Still, sources told the website that WhatsApp is preparing some UI improvements for the Archived Chats cell that will only be visible after the user has chats in their archive.

Users will not know when they receive messages in archived chats, as all notifications from the feature will be muted.

Live and let live
Re: WhatsApp may stop working on iPhones with older iOS [Re: Short] #548872
03/16/21 07:54 PM
03/16/21 07:54 PM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,961
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye...
Amanda Syme Offline

Amanda Syme  Offline
I don't know many people using iPhone 4 any more as they are really outdated and most apps don't work properly with them any more. And most iPhone 5s have been phased out too. Still a fair amount of folks using the 6. I finally upgraded because the 6 stopped being useful for a lot of apps about 2 years ago. I tried to archive my chats when I upgraded and lost everything - oh well. Maybe it is all new and improved as we move forward. I still love using WhatsApp to communicate daily around the world.

Re: WhatsApp in Danger: Signal Fastest Growing App [Re: Short] #549319
04/05/21 10:19 PM
04/05/21 10:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,500
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WhatsApp in Danger: Signal is the Fastest Growing App

Due to the controversial privacy policy of WhatsApp, people started finding alternatives. One of the best alternative apps to WhatsApp is considered to be Signal. This app was also appreciated by Elon Musk himself. Due to the controversy, Whatsapp delayed the introduction of the new privacy policy to May 15. However, since we are moving closer to the date, people have now started installing Signal more than ever. According to GulfNews, Signal is now the fastest growing app worldwide, both in terms of downloads and monthly active users in the first quarter of the year.

There is also another app that is being used as an alternative to WhatsApp. Telegram is more feature-rich than WhatsApp, although it may not be as simple. But for those who are familiar with the features of Telegram, they know how useful it is. Telegram stands at number 3 in downloads as per the report. Although, the monthly active users are a lot more in Telegram. According to the analytics, Telegram is at 2nd number globally for its MAUs (Monthly active users).

The reason behind the sudden increase in downloads and MAUs is the WhatsApp privacy policy. It got everyone’s attention, and those who care for their privacy, went looking for other apps in the market. Let’s just admit, WhatsApp is not the best messaging app. And with this bizarre privacy policy, the app has been affected badly. The download of Signal and Telegram is increasing day by day. Signal is for those who prefer simplicity while Telegram is recommended for those who want a feature-rich experience.

Although, it doesn’t mean Signal lacks features. Signal has a built-in image editing tool that lets you crop and flips your photos. It has a dark mode, which makes it look modern. Plus, it is very fast! The app is currently having 50,000,000+ installs in Play Store alone, with a rating of 4,5 stars. On the other hand, Telegram was also used before the privacy policy controversy of Whatsapp. Hence, it is more popular. Telegram allows you to make group chats with up to 200,000 members. There are bots that can come in handy for managing the groups. Plus, you can find groups and communities related to your interests in Telegram.

Live and let live
Re: Did Mark Zuckerberg also delete WhatsApp? [Re: Short] #549365
04/08/21 12:00 PM
04/08/21 12:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,500
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WhatsApp privacy worries caused MILLIONS to delete app ...was Facebook's CEO one of them?

WHATSAPP suffered a mass exodus of users in recent months over concerns it was sharing data with parent company Facebook. And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg might've been one of them.

Privacy concerns around WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions triggered a vast exodus earlier this year. Privacy-focused rival messaging apps, like Telegram and Signal, received millions of new users in the days after WhatsApp confirmed that users who didn’t sign-up to its new small-print would be blocked from sending messages. In fact, Signal saw so many people flock to its service that it went offline. And it seems Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg – whose company owns WhatsApp – might’ve been one of these people.

Security researchers have discovered that the 36-year-old multibillionaire uses Signal – a messaging app recommended by whistleblower Edward Snowden and others for its no-nonsense stance on its users’ privacy.

The only reason we know Zuckerberg, who reportedly spent $30m (£18.8m) buying the four houses that neighbour his own home in California for extra privacy, has a profile on Signal is because his details were among the leaked data of 533 million Facebook users discovered over the Easter bank holiday weekend. Zuckerberg’s location, marriage details, birth date, Facebook user ID, and phone number were stripped from his private Facebook profile and shared by hackers.

Cloud security specialist Dave Walker used the phone number that leaked from Zuckerberg’s account to check whether an account on Signal was registered in his name.

[Linked Image]
Walker tweeted his discovery, writing: “In another turn of events, Mark Zuckerberg also respects his own privacy, by using a chat app that has end-to-end encryption and isn't owned by @facebook. This is the number associated with his account from the recent Facebook leak.”

[Linked Image]
For those who don’t know, Signal is a pretty popular WhatsApp alternative. That’s because it has a pretty tough stance on privacy – not only is it end-to-end encrypted, like WhatsApp, but its code is open-source.

That means anyone is able to scrutinise its practices and make suggestions. Unlike WhatsApp, where users have to trust that Facebook is true to its word (and hasn’t made any honest mistakes), privacy experts are able to check Signal’s code for themselves, suggest improvements, and then check back to see whether the company has made the promised tweaks.

As a result, the open-source nature of Signal means it's one of the most trusted, secure messaging apps on the planet. Whistleblower Edward Snowden has previously revealed that he uses the app, as well as Twitter creator Jack Dorsey.

But this ironclad security doesn’t mean Signal users are losing out on features. Opening the app for the first time, you’ll find a very similar selection of features to WhatsApp, including group chats, voice messages and video calls with up to eight participants, GIFs, stickers, and more. Best of all, Signal is completely free to use. The app is run by an independent nonprofit that relies on donations, so you can support Signal with as much as you can afford.

And best of all? Unlike WhatsApp, Signal has an official iPad app!

Maybe that’s why Zuckerberg has decided to use Signal for his private communication with friends and family.

Live and let live

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