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        Furthermore, Signal also makes use of what is called “Sealed Sender”, which allows
        no one to be able to know – not even Signal – who is messaging whom. This is but a
        small part of the Signal functionality. Other security features include passcode or
        biometrics lock and automatic face blur in messages. With regard to personal
        information, Signal only stores a user’s phone number and nothing else.

        Changes to WhatsApp privacy
        In essence, the new changes to WhatsApp terms and privacy policy relate to how
        WhatsApp will share information within the Facebook group of companies and how any
        shared information will be used. These key updates relate to:
        •  WhatsApp’s service and how it processes your data;
        •  how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their
           WhatsApp chats; and
        •  how WhatsApp partners with Facebook to offer integrations across Facebook’s
           product portfolio.
                                                                                  Ahmore Burger-Smidt
        It is important to note that the information collected by WhatsApp is not the “chats” of
        its users, as these are encrypted and therefore cannot be seen by the company.
        Rather the information relates to personal data such as phone numbers of users (and  stated that the company will begin
        their contacts, if the contacts make use of WhatsApp), profile names, pictures and  serving advertisements to cover some
        diagnostic data.                                                         of its costs.
           The updated privacy policy makes it clear on how WhatsApp will share data with the
        Facebook family of apps for better advertising targeting. The fear is that this gives  Conclusion
        Facebook even more incentive to monetise user WhatsApp data. Statements have been  As businesses across the world
        made by many that the update of WhatsApp’s privacy policy will now enforce sharing of  prepare to re-open and expand online,
        data from WhatsApp to Facebook and even that WhatsApp will completely invade user  people need simple ways to get in
        privacy. Is this really the case?                                        touch with businesses to ask
           WhatsApp has added new features to allow people to communicate with businesses  questions, get information or find
        – and those businesses could be hosted by Facebook. However, users should be  something they might buy. Today,
        informed if that happens by the specific business. When speaking to a business that has  WhatsApp supports more than 50
        decided to have its messages managed by Facebook, a message should appear – and  million WhatsApp business app users.
        users should stop engaging with the specific business if they would prefer that  To help them and the thousands of
        information not be managed by Facebook. Businesses making use of the WhatsApp  larger businesses on the WhatsApp
        platform will be able to make use of Facebook services to store the business –  business API get discovered, the
        customer chats.                                                          company is introducing these new
           Going forward, there will be an even greater integration between WhatsApp and  features to start a chat with a business
        Facebook’s other products like Instagram and Messenger, but this means that they will  on WhatsApp to see what goods and
        share data like your phone number, transaction data, IP address and information on how  services they offer.
        you interact with businesses.                                               The update to the WhatsApp
                                                                                 privacy policy is cosmetic in nature
        What exactly does this sharing of personal information between Facebook companies  and to a large extent intended to allow
        entail? The WhatsApp privacy policy states that this entails, amongst others:  people to communicate with
        •  helping improve infrastructure and delivery systems;                  businesses – an offering to business
        •  understanding how the WhatsApp or Facebook services are used;         by Whatsapp and hosted by
        •  promoting safety, security and integrity across all Facebook company products;  Facebook. Also, those messages
        •  improving services and user experience such as personalising features and  might be stored and managed by
           contents, helping users to complete purchases and transactions and showing  Facebook at the election of the
           relevant offers and advertisements across the Facebook company products; and  specific business.
        •  providing integrations which enable users to connect WhatsApp with other Facebook  Data privacy laws across the world
           company products. For example, allowing users to connect Facebook Pay Account  require clear and transparent
           to pay for things on WhatsApp.                                        communications with data subjects. Are
                                                                                 we blaming WhatsApp for updating its
        So yes, advertising directed at a user specifically is possible and certain information will  communication so that users know what
        be shared to achieve that, but does Telegram differ in any significant way? It is doubtful.  is happening in the background? Did you
           In less detail, the Telegram privacy policy states that Telegram may share user  not want to know that?
        personal data with its parent company, Telegram Group Inc., located in the British Virgin  Therefore, leaving aside Signal,
        Islands and Telegram FZ-LLC, a group member located in Dubai to help provide,  is there really such a difference
        improve and support Telegram services. It has been reported that nearly eight years  between WhatsApp and Telegram, which
        after its initial launch, Telegram needs to monetise its platform by either advertising or  would necessitate a move from
        finding a buyer in order to ensure survival. The founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov,  WhatsApp to Telegram?  n

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