PRIVACY

WhatsApp’s New Privacy Rules Spill the Beans on Its Users

January 12, 2021



In case you tried to forget Facebook owns WhatsApp, these new privacy rules were a rude awakening.  People are throwing up their hands and many are defecting to the rival messaging app Signal.

What is happening?
WhatsApp is changing its privacy policy to allow it to share data it collects about you with the Facebook network including Instagram.  It doesn’t matter whether you even have a FB or Instagram account or profile. 

If you want to read the whole thing, here is a link to the new WhatsApp privacy rules: https://www.whatsapp.com/security/

What data can be shared?
Text conversations are encrypted end-to-end so the content of messages will not be shared. But by using WhatsApp can share so-called metadata such as your contacts list, location, financial information and usage data and your phone’s unique identifier, among other types of so-called metadata.  All of this metadata is linked with your identity.

Here is a handy chart showing you what gets shared by WhatsApp compared to Apple’s iMessage, courtesy of Forbes:



Should you bail from WhatsApp now?
Elon Musk says yes.  He’s endorsed rival app Signal to his 42 million Twitter followers by tweet.

Signal’s registration page crashed after new users bum rushed the platform.  According to Sensor Tower, "from January 6 to January 10, Signal saw approximately 7.5 million installs globally from across the App Store and Google Play."

Signal tweeted on January 10: “We continue to shatter traffic records and add capacity as more and more people come to terms with how much they dislike Facebook’s new terms.”  Nice throw under the bus of FB/WhatsApp.


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