There is trouble with WhatsApp again - this time it's about the much-criticized new terms and conditions. But why do we users do this to ourselves again and again? The simplest solution is: let's all turn our backs on WhatsApp and switch to safer alternatives.
The new general terms and conditions have been in effect on WhatsApp since last Saturday, May 15, 2021. WhatsApp officially confirms that there will be no extended data transfer to Facebook and that the update will only serve to improve the networking of companies with potential customers.
In a statement from WhatsApp it says that the handling of private chats is handled differently than the contact with companies: "If you communicate with a company via phone, email or WhatsApp, it can use the information from these interactions with you for its own Use marketing purposes. This may include advertising on Facebook ".
Users now have to agree to these new terms and conditions. If you don't do that, you are threatened ... Yes, what else is WhatsAppern threatening?
Rejected forced update of the terms and conditions: First users lose important functions
Terms and conditions refusers can no longer upload cloud backups of their chats.
WhatsApp made it clear in a blog post that no account would be deleted if one did not accept the new terms and conditions. But that's not the end of the story. If you do not accept the new conditions, the functionality will actually be restricted. You will no longer be able to access the chat list in the coming weeks. You can take video and voice calls, but you can only reply to text messages if you have notifications enabled.
If the agreement is still missing after a few weeks, the account could still be deleted. WhatsApp deletes inactive profiles after 120 days - and that's exactly what we are if we can't get into the chat list.
However, the first users reported further restrictions in the past few days. For example, those who refused to use the terms and conditions now lack the option of uploading backups of chats to the cloud. To speak here of wanting the best for users is, in my opinion, simply a lie.
Data protection expert Caspar: "New conditions show considerable contradictions"
Many privacy experts see it the same way. Among them, for example, the Hamburg data protection officer Johannes Caspar. If he has his way, the new terms and conditions show "considerable contradictions", are "unclear and difficult to distinguish". After a more detailed analysis, according to Caspar, it is not possible to see what the consequences of the update are - however, the connection between WhatsApp and Facebook should be expanded further, including for advertising purposes.
A WhatsApp spokesman countered in a statement to the AFP that it was a "misunderstanding without a legal basis" and that they only wanted to "create transparency about data collection and use".
As a user, the question arises who I can believe here: many independent data protection experts who really care about the protection of the privacy of Internet users, or one of the world's largest media groups, which makes the headlines almost every year with data breaches, data abuse cases and other affairs? For me the answer here is very clear.
Signal or Threema: There are great alternatives on the market!
The king of the app charts: After the WhatsApp trouble (May 20, 2021), Signal is currently the most popular app among Android users.
I keep wondering how long we want to let this be done to us. The Facebook group, to which WhatsApp belongs, repeatedly "shocked" us with new reports of data problems. Quasi a repeat offender whom we give a chance again and again. How so? Perhaps out of habit. Or because our data is not that important to us after all? If you look at the controversy surrounding the Corona warning app, you would think that our private data is important to us.
In any case, it cannot be the lack of alternatives that is holding us back. There are some contenders for the Messenger throne in the market. And no, I don't mean Telegram, even if the service is ahead of WhatsApp on some points. But it scores more with exciting functions and a large user base than with better security. You can find out more about this here .
No, I'm talking about alternatives like Threema or Signal, real candidates for the title of best messenger. Both are open source, encrypt end-to-end by default and do not even require a cell phone number. The Threema servers are also located in Switzerland. So the user can assume the highest level of security. The user base is still manageable and the service costs around four euros once - a small price for secure data.
On the other hand, signal is the free alternative with more users and an equally secure protocol. Even Elon Musk and Edward Snowden publicly recommend the service on their social media. The servers are not located in Switzerland, but the source code is just as open and has been found to be secure by independent experts. Currently the Messenger is even number 1 in the whole Play Store charts. So is a rethink finally taking place? It would be desirable, because I have no desire for more scandals and data protection mishaps by the market leader from Zuckerberg.