WhatsApp in its younger days was hailed a hero for its end to end encryption chat and a host of market leading features. Then it was bought by Facebook 😒. Since then it has been slowing integrating itself with the network giant and now it’s T’s and C’s have been altered, again.
The thing to note is that whilst WhatsApps chat is encrypted for just the users eyes, everything else about your activity and profile is up for grabs. Metadata about your location, phone, IP address, who you’re chatting to and when, lays outside your encrypted chat and can be harvested by the app provider. Whilst WhatsApp has stayed quite separate from Facebook for a while, this is clearly changing. The new terms are as follows.
“The Facebook Companies (which include WhatsApp) are a group of companies that are owned by Facebook. Other Facebook Companies provide services to WhatsApp so that we can operate and provide our Services.”
“When we share your personal information with other Facebook Companies, it will only be used to provide services to WhatsApp on our behalf in accordance with our instructions and terms or to help ensure the safety, security, and integrity of WhatsApp and other Facebook Company Products.”
“Nothing you share on WhatsApp, including your phone number, will be shown on Facebook or any of the Facebook Company Products, unless you choose to show it.”
This isn’t uncommon practice for a company to share user data in house for metric purposes. It is something that WhatsApp users should consider as many who use it believe its entirety is encrypted as apposed to just the chat contents, and it’s yet another platform for Facebook to scrape data from its users.
Want an alternative to it that gives you almost all of the same features without the Metadata scraping? Try out Signal from Whisper Systems. They have a strong policy that promises to never collect data and pass it on to third parties. They make their money through funding. Providing the safest messenger trust by many.