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Whatsapp’s unusual way of regaining trust

REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

The messenger service Whatsapp, which belongs to Facebook, is trying to regain the trust of its users with an unusual method. He uses the direct address in the status, ie in his version of Snapchat or Instagram stories. There the app informs every user about the company’s commitment “for your privacy”. Similar to Instagram, which also belongs to Facebook, which provides information about new functions after updates in the stories, Whatsapp is now using the direct approach to its users to clear up the data protection confusion that occurred last month.

Compared to the technology portal “The Verge”, a Whatsapp spokesman justified this step as follows: “There was a lot of misinformation and confusion about our last update and we wanted to clarify the facts for everyone about how Whatsapp protects the privacy and security of its users.” And continued: “From now on we will provide users with new information in the status so that Whatsapp will inform them directly. Our first update of this kind confirms that Whatsapp cannot see the personal messages – just like Facebook – because they are end-to-end encrypted. “

The current Whatsapp status

The current Whatsapp status

Whatsapp

WhatsApp data and chats of private users are still not shared with Facebook

The messenger service is currently trying to limit the damage after an update to the terms of use earlier this month was largely interpreted to mean that personal data such as phone numbers and locations would now be shared with the parent company Facebook. After a corresponding announcement was displayed as a pop-up when the app was opened, more privacy-conscious messengers such as Signal or Telegram recorded a real rush of new users, which in the meantime even led to technical problems at Signal.

As early as mid-January, Whatsapp announced in a blog post that the update would be postponed from February to May in order to initially allay users’ concerns. The messenger service is now trying to make it clear that users’ concerns about their privacy are unfounded. The chats of private users would remain completely unaffected by the changes, according to the service in an FAQ on its own website. Only companies that use WhatsApp for advertising purposes and for customer contacts are therefore able to host these chats via Facebook and manage chat processes there. In such communication with a company, information can be used for marketing purposes, including advertising on Facebook. Such chats would be labeled accordingly, according to the messenger service.

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