The new terms and conditions for WhatsApp concern users who, from now on, will share their data with Facebook and Instagram
When users use The WhatsApp Began to receive a warning notice that the terms and conditions of the app Instant message As of February 8, multiple questions began to arise regarding its operation and the nature of the organizational change.
Concerns that arose among the users, which were highlighted in A strong request stirred up in the Russian social network TelegramIt is mainly related to data privacy, the free service, and especially the link that will be established with Facebook, and with other companies owned by American businessman Mark Zuckerberg.
However, this is likely not a new thing, says Jose Luis Lopez, a computer security expert and director of computer security company ESET in Uruguay. “What’s even more confusing is the notification WhatsApp users get, which is basically something generic but also generates a bit of alert and doesn’t add anything new in the background,” he explains to Sputnik.
The main topic within the changes in terms and conditions The WhatsApp Is that, right Now, Its users’ data will be “crossed” with the data of the social network Facebook and Instagram, And other companies owned by Zuckerberg.
There is nothing free in life, especially on the Internet
In general, this means that this network of networks will have the ability to exchange data provided by a person in each one of them, in order to increase the income of each of them, mainly from selling ads, which is the main thing for it. The main source of profit, Lopez explains.
Now your user data will be crossed with Facebook and Instagram data
“There is nothing free in life, less in InternetLike everyone else on the net, he asserts. WhatsApp is not a file Free service Not at all, he asserts again, but it is a “tool for making money”In this case of selling users’ personal data to companies who will present them to ads later, a fact, he said, the general public tends to forget.
However, this has happened before. The first time WhatsApp downloads, the app asks the user to accept the classic phrase “I have read and agree to the terms and conditions” to use it. What happens is that, in general, “a lot of people ignore it, very little read it,” says Lopez.
Since 2014 WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, After it was acquired by Zuckerberg for $ 16 billion. Since then, by default, they are both social networks Their data crossed over, with each other and with the rest of the entrepreneur’s companies. The central difference, Lopez notes, is that before the terms gave the user the option to allow or not to share their data with Facebook, an option that would not be available in the new privacy terms.
Although a user can choose not to associate one social network’s data with another, most of them did so by default. So, in essence, Lopez explains, “It’s not a new thing, it’s a natural thing: What happens is Now in WhatsApp terms it will be clarified“.
Federico Kirchbaum, a security expert and member of the Argentine Computer Security Annual Conference, Ecoparty, analyzes it in the same way. In short, what changes is the company now explaining in detail, and therefore legally protected, What kind of data you will useUnder the premise, “Consent: What I collect of your information you should know,” he told Sputnik.
WhatsApp is not a free service at all as it is a tool for making money
What is this information? Briefly, Your first and last name, the device (s) through which you use the service, your phone number, your contacts, your location, and in networks such as Facebook and Instagram, all the content that the user interacts with and that expresses interest Pages of music, art, animals, or whatever – which will then determine the type of ad that will be proposed to you on these social networks.
However, one of the points the company has emphasized is clear is that users’ personal messages are not, in any way, visible to them or other companies.
“With end-to-end encryption, we cannot see your conversations or private calls, nor does Facebook. We are committed to this technology and we are committed to defending it globally,” said William, President of WhatsApp on January 8th. Cathcart on his Twitter account.
Why do WhatsApp’s terms and conditions change?
It is true that data transit generates more income for the related companies, and it is only logical to attribute a purely commercial purpose to the mandatory nature of acceptance of these new terms and conditions so that the user allows, yes or yes, his data to be transferred to these destinations.
However, if this has happened before, in any case, the vast majority of users authorized the app Use of your dataIt’s reasonable to ask why, with all the hype that was expected, this notice was made explicit. In this sense, Kirschbaum asserts that what is happening goes beyond a mere “interpretation” of company policy.
In 2015, the illicit use of data from the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained via Facebook was first published in the British newspaper The Guardian, a scandal that will be completed in 2019, with a premiere in Netflix From the documentary Nada es Privado, in which the actions of the two companies were developed during Donald Trump’s campaigns in the United States, Brexit in Europe, and many others.
Kirschbaum says that when the investigations about Facebook began, they “reduced the profile” and stopped or at least reduced data traffic. With this message, “Now they say to you:” We can cross them, “which means” Let us cross them. “, Confirms.
There is a chapter in this story that its specialists Information security They are very present, but very little has been said in the press. It is the General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD), which was approved in 2016 and which came into effect in 2018 in the European Union.
“The bylaw is an essential measure to enhance the basic rights of individuals in the digital age and facilitate economic activity, as it clarifies the rules applicable to companies and public bodies in the single digital market. Moreover, the existence of a single rule puts an end to the fragmentation in different national systems and unnecessary administrative burdens.” It also identifies the European Union.
Since 2014 WhatsApp is owned by Facebook
In general, the legislation not only requires the explicit use of personal data for services such as WhatsApp and Facebook for the user, but also prohibits data transit for these applications. Actually, WhatsApp works in blocked countries in a completely different way: It has a subsidiary based in Ireland to provide its services, responsible for the Irish Data Protection Committee, and therefore its new provisions will not be applied in the European Union countries, according to the Sputnik report.
If you go to the WhatsApp website, to the security and privacy section, then it is obvious to block users: “Currently, Facebook does not use the information in your WhatsApp account to improve experiences with Facebook products or to provide you with more relevant ads on the platform.”
However, this type of legislation acts as a “pressure” to use the app elsewhere, and requires greater transparency towards users, says Kirschbaum. Summarizes: “They are covered by the law.”
In Latin America, concern for legislation in this regard is not usually a priority for governmentsBut Kirchbaum argues that once a country takes the resolve to protect users in protecting its own data – especially if countries “move the needle” at the commercial level – it generates an impact on others. Smaller trade links between countries refer to data terms.
Therefore, the final law in influencing countries may lead to a “place” for greater data protection policies at the regional level. With the European Union regulating, presumably, in Latin America, in the end “there will likely be a reaction” this way.