“We do not retain your messages in the ordinary course of providing our services to you. Instead, your messages are stored on your device and not typically stored on our servers. Once your messages are delivered, they are deleted from our servers.”
That means the selfie you sent to your bestie isn’t going to end up on a Nando’s advert on Facebook. In fact, the new policy also says that your messages are end-to-end encrypted, meaning no third parties can read the messages that you send on WhatsApp.
The new WhatsApp Policy of January 2021 also confirms that WhatsApp can’t decrypt users’ messages, calls, and photos. They’re safe from prying eyes. It means they don’t store personal info like what your messages say.
Messages are deleted from the WhatsApp servers as soon as they are delivered. That’s probably more secure than your landline calls. Who knows if the government has bugged your line 😜 or if you kids are listening in on your conversation.
So, what’s the big deal? Why are so many people upset about the new WhatsApp update? If not read contextually, some statements in the new WhatsApp policy seem to be breaching user privacy. South Africa’s information regulator is currently assessing the new WhatsApp policy to determine whether it contravenes the country’s privacy laws.
In the meantime, we’re looking at what the controversial statements mean for WhatsApp users and for brands advertising on Facebook or using WhatsApp. First, it’s important to note that the updates are about how WhatsApp will share information with Facebook and how that information will be used.
The updates let users know how WhatsApp processes their data. It explains how companies or brands could potentially store and manage their WhatsApp chats using Facebook-hosted services. Finally, it lays out the details regarding how Facebook and WhatsApp will partner for the purpose of cross-platform integrations.
Does it sound like we’re saying WhatsApp is collecting your data, as in your messages and photos? The truth is, they are collecting your data, but not the data you think. The new policy says that WhatsApp is collecting:
According to the policy, it’s meant to improve your online experience by improving advertising targeting. It’s also meant to facilitate new business tools that allow people to communicate with businesses on WhatsApp. And these businesses may be hosted on Facebook.
Businesses using this new tool to access the WhatsApp platform as a business on Facebook will be able to store their business chats with customers using Facebook tools. The policy does imply that business owners will need to inform users if they will be saving the chats. It’s kind of like speaking to your insurance company.
Often, an automated voice will let you know that “this call is being recorded for quality purposes”. In the same way, business-to-customer WhatsApp chats managed through Facebook will need to let people know upfront in a message that their chat is being saved. Users then have the option to not engage with the business if this prospect is unacceptable to them.
Facebook and WhatsApp are about to improve your advert targeting and your ability to engage with users. Thanks to integration between apps like Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, communicating with customers, making sales online, and advertising to an interested audience is going to get much better.
Here’s what the Policy says about how the updates are going to benefit users and businesses:
WhatsApp’s policy updates are primarily business-related and focused on allowing users to communicate with businesses for their convenience. According to the New York Times, Facebook and WhatsApp have been collecting this data since 2016. Privacy-related laws around the World insist on transparency when it comes to how users’ data is used. Should we blame WhatsApp for updating their policies, so users know what is going on in the background?
P.tch has over 15 years’ experience in Digital Marketing Consulting and growing eCommerce companies and platforms in South Africa, having worked with brands such as Wantitall.co.za, Netflorsit.co.za, Hairhousewarehouse.co.za, Digital Planet, Hpshop.co.za and many more. If you’re looking for an eCommerce growth and development partner, please contact us.Sources: timeslive; businesstech; nytimes;