Is WhatsApp Really Dangerous?

Is WhatsApp Really Dangerous?

Amid row over reports of WhatsApp users alleging leak of their private messages with family and friends on search engines, the Facebook-owned messaging service has issued yet another clarification.

WhatsApp has said the change in its recently revised policy "does not affect privacy of messages with friends or family". Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp.

It further shared a list of information NOT shared with Facebook:

1. WhatsApp cannot see your private messages or hear your calls and neither can Facebook.

2. WhatsApp does not keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling.

3. WhatsApp cannot see your shared location and neither can Facebook.

4. WhatsApp does not share your contacts with Facebook.

5. WhatsApp groups remains private.

6. You can set your messages to disappear.

7. You can download your data.


Addressing one the biggest concerns about "group privacy", WhatsApp in the Security and Privacy section of its website states: "We don't share this data with Facebook for ads. Again, these private chats are end-to-end encrypted so we can't see their content."

For "additional privacy", it suggested users change message settings to "disappear from chats after you send them". Complete steps on how to accomplish this have been shared on its website.

The update has prompted an exodus of sorts from WhatsApp, which has 400 million users in India alone. It is mandatory for the user to accept the new terms of use. Following a severe backlash over the latest update to its privacy policy, Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Saturday said it has pushed back the policy roll out by three months to May 15.

Privacy concerns and fear of security breach have prompted people to weigh other messaging apps, such as Signal and Telegram which either do not collect any data, or just basic user information.


-Riya Singh