Especially in the United States, Whatsapp is surprising ad gave birth to a mass exodus from service. The topic also came to the fore in Finland, and here too Whatsapp users moved to use Signal, which rose to the top of the application list download lists.
Confusion has been caused by the fact that the terms related to the transfer of user data to Facebook do not apply to the EU or the EEA, and the new terms only relate to communication with Whatsapp’s corporate accounts. Iltalehti, like many other publications, covered the topic and supplemented the news as the changes concerning Europe became more precise.
Uncertainty has been caused, among other things, by the fact that the link in connection with the Whatsapp announcement sent to Finns in English led to a help site, which in turn led to conditions that did not apply to EU countries.
People have been particularly concerned about their privacy when using the app – especially when Whatsapp is owned by some giant Facebook. Users have been concerned that their data would be passed on to Facebook for advertising purposes, even though the service does not work in Europe.
Currently, Whatsapp announces that Facebook uses some mandatory credentials. These include the phone number used to register, information about the operating system, and when you use Whatsapp.
Iltalehti contacted Facebook to ask what the confusion of terms and conditions really is all about.
– We want to emphasize that the Terms of Service update does not affect the privacy of messages from your friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to corporate communications on Whatsapp, which is optional and provides more transparency on data collection and use, Whatsapp spokesman tells Iltalehti.
Whatsapp says it refers in its October notification, which says that Whatsapp wants to make it easier to shop and get help from companies through Whatsapp. According to the company, a new announcement was made to increase transparency.
– The update will not change Whatsapp’s data sharing policies with Facebook, nor will it affect how people communicate privately with their friends or family, no matter where they are in the world.
Whatsapp’s information further emphasizes that the company is committed to protecting people’s privacy.
– We communicated these changes directly to users via Whatsapp so they have time to review the new policy over the next month.
Iltalehti reached out to a non-fiction writer and technical expert Petteri Järvinen to comment on Whatsapp’s ambiguous situation.
– Facebook has said that if a person does not have a business version, nothing will change. If this is really true, the situation is good. However, I wonder why Whatsapp sent such a stupid announcement that scared many if once nothing changes. So whether it was a communication fee or why such a rude announcement had to be sent, Järvinen says and continues:
– Why is it not clearly stated? Why intimidate users by having to figure out the significance of the change themselves and look for alternative programs? A firm of this scale should have the resources and expertise to communicate clearly what is changing. Communication should be understandable and in Finnish. This kind of flirting is really weird and understandably raises the suspicion that the dog is buried.
According to Järvinen, however, Finns do not have to worry about Whatsapp’s announcement.
– The change is no reason not to use Whatsapp. If you have used it so far, let it continue to use it. If you are also a Facebook user, what else do you think you are hiding from it? I understand the concerns of those users who do not use Facebook at all, and are only WhatsApp, but it’s probably not a lot, Järvinen says.
– Whatsapp is a secure service. With data protection, again, it can be a bit so and so. If you have given your information to Facebook and uploaded your address book there once, then all the most important information has already been given.
Many Whatsapp users in the world and also in Finland ended up switching to another communication service due to Whatsapp ambiguities. One of these services is Signal, which Iltalehti mentioned earlier. According to Järvinen, such a move is good for competition.
– I understand that Signal is quite good and safe and as a bonus there is still open source code. Behind it is still a foundation whose purpose is not to raise money from users, at least for now. I think this is a good trend. Everyone should think, their own dependence on Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram, not to be completely dependent on them.
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