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WhatsApp or Signal: What is a safer option now?

By Aditi Prasad,

In this interview, Apar Gupta, Executive Director of Internet Freedom Foundation, decodes the revised privacy policy of WhatsApp.

The revised privacy policy of WhatsApp allows it to store and share user data of business accounts with its parent company Facebook.

Starting from staying connected with friends and family members to discussing lessons with teachers, WhatsApp has become an indispensable medium of communication for kids. The dependence on messaging apps like this has increased manifold now, thanks to the social distancing norms mandated by COVID-19 pandemic.  

However, the revised privacy policy announced by this messaging app a few months ago led many users to shift to its competitors, Signal and Telegram, making them more aware of data privacy. The new policy allows WhatsApp to store and share user data with its parent company Facebook. However, this policy is applicable to business accounts only, not the regular ones. According to the revised policy, WhatsApp will have access to phone numbers and transactional data of business accounts. According to latest reports users have to accept the new norms by 15th May. They will be able to use WhatsApp 120 days after this date with limited functionality. The account will be deleted if users do not accept the policy by the end of 120 days from 15th May.  Hindustan Times’ Senior Editor Aditi Prasad speaks to Apar Gupta, Executive Director of Internet Freedom Foundation to decode the implications of WhatsApp’s policy change and what users can do to ensure the safety of their personal data. 

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