Global Impact of WhatsApp Policy On Companies Policy

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impact of whatsapp policy

Corporate workplaces globally prefer to have WhatsApp as their primary communication platform, but companies are losing trust in this application with the growing concerns regarding the new privacy policy. Play store observed a surge in the number of downloads for apps like Telegram & Signal, right after WhatsApp unveiled its policy for authorizing Facebook to leverage chat data for business optimization.

As the Facebook’s history is not so palpable with data security, WhatsApp making it mandatory for users to share their data with Facebook leads to a critical situation, where shifting towards better alternative is the only option. The world has observed the Analytica fraud in which Facebook association was later discovered, and this makes it to be quite fishy to trust Facebook-owned WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.

What information is WhatsApp sharing with Facebook?

Facebook intended to include mining email addresses, cell phone contacts, profile name & also the user’s location from WhatsApp. Those who are not comfortable with this new policy will not enjoy its services, stated in the primary update.

WhatsApp has stamped their foot on an axe by imposing new policy on user’s data and catering them with strong reasons for drifting towards more secure apps like Signal, Telegram, MS Teams & Slack.

Worsening the situation for WhatsApp, Mr Musk also endorsed Signal over the usage of WhatsApp. Businesses which are featuring WhatsApp Chatbot for their users are little concerned too, regarding the given scenario where data might be available to Facebook for leveraging their advertisements.

WhatsApp published an advertisement in the newspaper for clearing out the clouds of misconceptions that might get worked for personal usage. For corporate usage, this was a speed bump to rethink for tightening the internal communication policy. Following were the majorly observed changes in company’s policy worldwide for maintaining data integrity and ensuring confidentiality.

How will WhatsApp Continue to Store Data?

WhatsApp stated that their data is housed on Facebook’s servers which are primarily located in the US. This is the first time when the data collection facility is openly discussed.

Further, it also confirmed that the user’s data would be smartly distributed to servers across continents. This delegation of data will be done on the basis of user’s location service, which will be traced by their IP address even if the user’s location service is turned off.

The IP will be fetched from their cell towers to identify the city and approximate location. Many countries, including the European Union and India, are strictly against this policy which is a clear infringement of user’s privacy. Under any circumstances, it will be a drastic decision to let Facebook acknowledge regarding the end user’s location. Facebook is now revealing that no account will get suspended on 8th of Feb & they will be altering some of their policy points to stay legit with their fans. Still, as far as there is no official resolution from WhatsApp, companies and users will continue to drift towards more secure apps.

Restriction on WhatsApp Usage for Internal Communication:

India’s business tycoon – “Tata Steel” imposed banning of WhatsApp’s usage for internal communication with a concern of potential data leak. Shifting towards other reliable platforms gained momentum after this. Worldwide sectors like logistics, medical, entertainment & e-commerce are rethinking for better platforms as they won’t put strategical or user data at risk. “NO WHATSAPP FOR OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION” will be the first line of defense in company policy.

Media Must be Shared on More Reliable Platforms:

In the pre-policy era, banks, financial organization & various other businesses trusted WhatsApp to share media & documents with its end-to-end encryption technology for hassle-free file delivery. But now there are chances that files may get leaked and lead to a critical situation. Sending & receiving documents is now strictly followed on mailing platforms & if done on WhatsApp, it needs to be password protected.

Restriction on Accessing WhatsApp Web in Company Premises:

WhatsApp’s web version was introduced to ease messaging hustle for corporate computer users, which needs to be properly addressed after the policy declaration where Facebook is authorized to dive into the user’s data and information. Therefore, along with unproductive websites, companies have restricted the usage of WhatsApp web for making sure no information is passed towards any potential data compromising threat.

Usage of Skype for Recruiting Purpose:

Human resource department are now being prevented from leveraging WhatsApp for communication during hiring procedures. Usage of Skype, Zoom or any other reliable platform is made mandatory, which needs to be followed by the recruiting department and the interviewee.

Conclusion

Facebook is followed by its bad reputation as far as data integrity is concerned & with the declaration of new terms along with being the parent of WhatsApp, the vulnerability is passed on hereditary. Corporates must follow experts’ footprints and try avoiding WhatsApp for business conversation till some concrete declaration comes. Stay tuned for latest updates.