Valley News Desk

Users flock secure apps as WhatsApp ‘tweaks’ privacy policy

Faizan Wani

Srinagar, Jan 15 (KNO): Thousands of users in Kashmir valley have flocked to extra ‘privacy-centric’ apps like Telegram and Signal after messaging giant ‘WhatsApp’ updated its terms of use and privacy policy a week ago.

Although WhatsApp clarified that it does not share data with its parent company ‘Facebook’, users yet prefer to download what they believe are ‘secure’ apps to protect their privacy.

The mass exodus of users according to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) in the valley comes in the wake WhatsApp’s new privacy policy suggesting further data sharing with its parent company.

Users according to the updated policy of WhatsApp have to give access to data sharing, including location, phone number with Facebook and its other units like Messenger and Instagram.

Users have to accept updated terms of use and privacy policy till 8th of next month or delete WhatsApp on their handsets.

Thousands of users in the trouble-torn valley which often experience internet ‘breakdown’ in order to protect their privacy, have switched over to extra privacy-centric apps’ like Signal and Telegram.

The updated privacy policy of WhatsApp sparked a row on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with netizens ‘censure’ messaging giant for exchanging user data with its parent company Facebook for monitory benefits.

“#Service provider is supposed to protect user privacy than to exchange it with others for mere #monitory #gains. #WhatsApp is not as important as privacy is, so I delete it right now (sic),” Tafseer Yakeen, tweeted.

Thousands of users which include academicians, police officers, businessmen, journalists, medicos, students and leaders of various political parties in Kashmir have deleted WhatsApp and downloaded Signal and Telegram to remain active on social media sans any fear of ‘breach’ in privacy.

“#telegram is similar to #whatsapp, no difference but #telegram is much more secure than its older #version forcing users to compromise on privacy (sic),” Taha a student wrote on Facebook.

In a blog post, WhatsApp, however, reiterated that private messages or sensitive location data will not be shared with Facebook. However, they added that business conversation on the platform might be readable and used for advertising.

“With some of the rumours going around, we want to answer some of the common questions we have received. We go to great lengths to build WhatsApp in a way that helps people communicate privately,” read the company’s FAQs post.

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way,” they added—(KNO)

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