Don’t worry, WhatsApp won’t see your texts… or nudes: expert

Many of the app's users have raised concerns and questions about what the updated policy meant for their personal data with rumours circulating that the mobile application will be sharing the personal data of its users with its parent company, Facebook.

Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Mobile application giant WhatsApp has assured its users that its updated privacy policy will not affect the privacy of messages sent to friends or families.

Many of the app users have raised concerns and questions on what the updated policy meant for their personal data with rumours circulating that the mobile application will be sharing the personal data of its users with its parent company, Facebook.

If you remember, Facebook, (owned by Mark Zuckerberg) came under fire not too long ago after it admitted to ‘mistakenly’ (improperly) sharing the personal data of about 50 million Americans with a political consultancy.

So, what does the updated privacy policy mean then?

Well according to the mobile application, the update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional and provides further transparency about how it collects and uses data.

WhatsApp has assured its users that neither it nor Facebook can;

  • See private messages or hear your calls.

  • Keep track of your calls or messages.

  • Identify your shared location.

  • Share your contacts with Facebook.

  • And all group chats will remain private.

Social media law expert Emma Sadleir said that there was no need to panic over the company’s updated privacy policy. In fact, she said that a lot of the hysteria around the update was unfounded.

In a video she shared on YouTube she explained: “It is not unusual for a company to say, in order to you use our platform you have to agree to our terms and conditions.”

Sadleir said that information that WhatsApp users shared on the app, would now be shared with Facebook: “So, for example, if I am chatting all the time with somebody on WhatsApp and we’re not friends on Facebook, then they’re going to come up as a friend suggestion on Facebook.

“I think people are freaking out because they got this idea the Big Brothers at Facebook… have access to the actual content of our messages, which is complete nonsense because WhatsApp, a few years ago, rolled out end-to-end encryption and they have confirmed that despite this new update, that end-to-end encryption will still exist. Now what that means is that when I send a WhatsApp message from my phone, it gets completely scrambled and the only person with the key to unscrambling that message is the person whom I sent that message.”

So basically, Mark Zuckerburg or anyone at Facebook will not be able to read your gossip, ‘I love you’ texts or nudes because the encryption will still be in place. So, there’s nothing to be worried about.

READ MORE: WhatsApp answers your questions about updated privacy policy

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