Considering the continued confusion, Geo Pakistan spoke to digital rights expert Usama Khilji regarding the new WhatsApp policy.
Khilji, who is additionally a director at digital rights organisation Bolo Bhi, said that one-to-one conversations between users will “remain encrypted”.
However, he explained WhatsApp will now provide “some information” to its parent company Facebook.
Khilji said WhatsApp will now be ready to share a user’s status, smartphone details, internet and therefore the telephone number and IP address getting used by an account.
“They will use this information to focus on you thru Facebook ads,” said the Bolo Bhi director.
The hosts also asked Khilji about the prospects of the govt developing its platforms almost like WhatsApp.
To this, Khilji responded that whoever makes the platform at the top of the day “information will attend companies and governments”. He added that they’re going to use that data for his or her benefit.
“Whichever company gets our data, they use it for themselves the maximum amount as they will , they sell it or use it for surveillance when it involves the govt ,” said Khilji.
What steps can one take to ensure privacy?
As a starter, Khilji urged the users to supply as less information as they will on the platform.
“Try that you simply don’t put much on WhatsApp status and if you would like to guard your identity don’t put your picture on WhatsApp,” said the digital rights activist.
For users who wish to stay private, Khilji suggested they avoid putting their real names on the app and use a pseudonym. He believed that this manner the messaging service will have the “least information” about the user.
“You should also know that WhatsApp and Facebook can see which group you’re a member of and who else may be a member,” said Khilji, adding that the businesses won’t be ready to see the knowledge within the chat.
The Bolo Bhi director warned that if an individual is employing a WhatsApp for Business account “then that information also can be shown to a 3rd party aside from the business and therefore the user”.
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