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Last updateFri, 15 Oct 2021 5pm

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WhatsApp privacy concerns: is switching worth the hassle?

The sensational headline responsible for alarming many read: “Millions of WhatsApp users ABANDON the app and switch to rivals Telegram or Signal ahead of privacy policy update that will force them to share their personal data with Facebook.”

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, is changing its user policy effective February 8, 2021, to more effectively monetize your personal information.

This has created a backlash among the two billion WhatsApp users worldwide, although  it’s based on at least some misinformation.

A careful reading of the policy changes reveals that, for now, they apply only to chats with business accounts and not an individual’s private conversations with friends and family.  It appears that a lot of those urging a WhatsApp boycott failed to make that distinction.  Still, giving Facebook permission to access business communications should be troubling.

Apple, Facebook and Google all offer phone/video/messaging apps that are alternatives for WhatsApp.  If your goal is to protect your personal privacy, then you probably want to avoid these big tech offerings.

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