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Is WhatsApp still Security-Focused?

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What is WhatsApp?

If you are here, you probably don’t need a definition of WhatsApp, but for the newbies, it is a messaging application which provides voice and video calls, with end-to-end encryption as the main feature which made it so popular, because you and I cherish our privacy.

The App, for very long has been a ubiquitous application, used all over the world for the security and confidentiality which the application promised users.

Brief History

WhatsApp was founded in the year 2009 and was bought by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion. The company at that time made money by charging each user $1 to download the application and $1 every year as they used the application. When Facebook bought the application, they eventually removed the subscription fees, both for downloading the application and the yearly renewals

How does WhatsApp make money?

So the question arises. How did the company make its money? Facebook said the messaging app would permit users to communicate with businesses and therefore the Businesses would pay for the service.

What Changed?

Of recent (4th January 2020), the company updated its privacy policy to state that more information from users would be monetized (Shared with Facebook). This information includes:

  • Your phone number
  • The IP addresses you’ve used
  • The brand and type of your phone (or other devices linked to your WhatsApp account)
  • Your profile picture
  • The phone numbers of your contacts
  • All WhatsApp groups you’re a member of
  • Blocked contacts

Companies who have this information can use them to build an electronic profile of your life and who knows what can be done with this information?

This information has not been available to other entities outside of WhatsApp before now. It has just been sitting there. Now, it is left for you to decide if you would feel comfortable with so much information about you being out there.

WhatsApp Alternatives

For those who are searching for WhatsApp alternatives, there are two main applications which you can switch to. There is

  1. Telegram
  2. Signal

Let us know in the comment section, are these updates to their terms of service and privacy policy a deal-breaker for you? Are you switching to Telegram or Signal or are you going to remain on WhatsApp?

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