Now users are being given the deadline to accept the new terms and conditions until 8th February 2021; if you don’t accept the policy, you risk your access to Whatsapp. It’s like, ” You are using our service, and you have to accept our terms and conditions to use our service”. So it’s your choice whether you would like to protect or sell your personal information. If, luckily, you are one of those who have not accepted the terms and conditions yet, let’s dive straight into it to understand how policy changes will affect you. And if you are one of those who have already accepted the terms and conditions without reading, then sit tight and read what Whatsapp asked permissions, and you gave it to them.
What Data will be collected?
This is the message which appeared on Whatsapp to accept its new policy. So what is this new policy update? Under the new terms and condition, Whatsapp would be sharing the following data
- Location data,
- IP addresses,
- Phone model,
- Battery level,
- Signal strength,
- Mobile network,
- ISP, language,
- Time zone, and even IMEI.
Wait, don’t go anywhere the above information is still incomplete. Here is a list of personal information being fetched by various popular messaging apps. – Source: 9to5
Why worry more?
Facebook Acquiring Whatsapp
Secured Is It?
Before you say yes or no, let’s go through the past data breaches of Facebook. Facebook anyways, has faced the wrath of the people in the past and has been in the headlines due to all the wrong reasons.
Facebook Data Breaches
June 2013- 6 Million Users
In June 2013, Facebook found out that a bug has been exposing the personal information like phone numbers and email addresses of the users to unauthorized viewers for more than a year. As a result whoever knew the person or had any piece of information about the user had the access to complete information of the user.
May 2018- 14 Million Users
A technical glitch in a system in May 2018 caused private posts of 14 million users to be shared publicly without their knowledge and consent.
September 2018- 14 Million Users
Nearly after 3 months Facebook was rocked by another data breach. They publicly announced that nearly 50 to 90 million people had been compromised and their personal information was leaked to attackers who had complete access of their profile.
Still wondering whether to keep or uninstall Whatsapp.
2019 was the year of bonus we can say for Facebook users.
March 2019-600 Million Users
In March 2019, Cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs reported that Facebook was storing hundreds of millions of passwords in plain text files that were accessible by over 2000 employees of Facebook. To much surprise, some records dated back to 2012.
April 2019-540 Million Users
In April 2019, researchers at security firm Upguard found out that hundreds of millions of Facebook user records were placed on public server. Mexican Company Cultura Colectiva hosted the server, and the server was secured months later. In May 2016, Facebook asked users to verify their email addresses by entering the password related to that email address, and when the user did that, it gained access to the email and email list. Facebook managed to gain access to information of 1.5 million email addresses. Later on, it said that it would delete the email contacts list, and the data was accessible by the Staff members of Facebook.
September 2019-419 Million Users
The data of 419 million Facebook was sitting on an exposed server. Did it ring the bell? April 2019. The information stored had the Facebook id and the phone number stored with it. For some users, names, gender, and location information was also exposed. The server was not owned by Facebook and was taken down.
December 2019-309 Million Users
The end of the year, as well, all try to end the year with a bang. Facebook succeeded in ending the year with a bang. More than 300 million Facebook user phone numbers, names, and user IDs were left unprotected on the dark web for nearly two weeks, which was discovered by Bob Diachenko, a Security expert. – selfkey
What could be done?
The impact was such that Whatsapp users had already started to switch to other Chat Messaging Apps like Signal and Telegram.
Now Whastapp’s latest policy update rollout on May 15th has hit another roadblock as the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has asked the CEO of Facebook’s Owned messaging app to provide responses to queries raised by the Government of India. The Ministry questioned Whatsapp’s intent to share users’ metadata of “chat with the business account” with other Facebook companies citing security concerns.
1.Disclose the exact categories of data that the WhatsApp application collects from Indian users.
2.Give details of the permissions and user consent sought by the WhatsApp app and the utility of each of these with
respect to the functioning and specific service provided.
3.Does WhatsApp conduct profiling of Indian users on the basis of their usage of the application? What nature of
profiling is conducted?
4.Details of difference between WhatsApp privacy policies in other countries and India.
6.Does the WhatsApp app share data with any other app or business unit of the same company or associated companies?
Share details of the data flow among these apps, business units, or associated companies.
7.Does the WhatsApp app capture the information about the other apps running on the mobile device of the user? If
yes, what information is being captured by the app and what purpose is it being collected and used?
8.Details about the server when data of Indian users is transmitted or hosted.
9.Has the company or application provided any access to a third party to access a user’s personal data? If yes, then
share those details.