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  1. WhatsApp has not backed down from its recent privacy policy update that entails sharing private data with Facebook if you have interacted with a business on the instant messaging platform. In fact, you will still risk losing your account if you do not accept the privacy policy changes. As a result, there was an instant backlash from the user base and the instant messaging app delayed the rollout of the new privacy policy to May 15th. The move was done in order to clarify any issues with the changes and educate its users on what the new policy entails. It is worth pointing out that WhatsApp has a different set of policies for European customers where the company does not force users to accept the new changes. © Reuters However, WhatsApp has now explained what will happen to your account if you do not accept the new terms. Failure to accept the new terms after May 15th will result in users losing key features. “For a short time, you’ll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won’t be able to read or send messages from the app,” according to the company’s FAQ page. As for the “short time”, it means that your WhatsApp account will last for a few weeks until your account faces permanent deletion. WhatsApp has now started communicating with its merchant partners about the new policies who use the platform for selling goods and services. The instant messaging app charges a fee to businesses to use WhatsApp as a way to communicate with customers. © Pexels Users who are not keen on accepting the new policy changes will eventually face a permanent account deletion where chat history will be deleted as well. The only option users have left is to switch to different messaging platforms like Telegram and Signal if they wish to not accept the latest privacy policies. Thankfully, Telegram now offers an easy method to transfer all of your chat history and contacts with a seamless procedure. Having said that, users will still be able to accept the new terms on WhatsApp after the May 15th deadline. You will have 120 days to make up your mind after the May 15th deadline. However, if users do not accept the new terms within the new 120 days timeframe, your WhatsApp account will be classified as inactive. WhatsApp automatically deletes inactive accounts after 120 days. WhatsApp says once the account is deleted, “it is something we cannot reverse.” View the full article
  2. Experts believe Meghan Markle?s new win will spell a potential reconciliation with the royal family
  3. Meghan Markle's handwritten letter to her father Thomas Markle surfaced, causing her to file a lawsuit against the publishing group
  4. Here's why Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik are so persistent on keeping all things around their daughter strictly private
  5. WhatsApp assures users it can't "read or listen" to their conversations, on Status update
  6. WhatsApp is currently having a hard time retaining its users in India where its new privacy policy has stirred some controversy. There's a lot of misinformation about WhatsApp's new policy and how it aims to read our private conversation to serve us ads. Well amidst all the controversy, WhatsApp has decided to releases a couple of new features. WhatsApp users can now use both video and voice call features on the web. The feature is now rolling out slowly to all the users, so you should have it soon. © Reuters A lot of people have shared the screenshots of the new feature, although we don't see it go live for us. Looking at the screenshots, you can see the voice and video call buttons with beta written over. Wabetainfo, a popular source for WhatsApp info also confirmed the same and said the feature is now rolling out in more countries. Since the feature is currently in beta, it may not be available for all. You'll have to be a part of WhatsApp's beta program. Even then you may or may not get the feature due to the location limitation. “WhatsApp is rolling out beta calls for specific users but unfortunately, being a beta feature, it’s available for very few people. We hope you’re lucky but, if it doesn’t, don’t worry: every day more users receive that activation and, at present, WhatsApp Desktop has a higher priority,” the Wabetainfo read. © Unsplash We don't have much info about how the feature works, but if the reports are something to go by, then it looks like a new window will open up every time you receive a call or try to make a call through the WhatsApp web. This particular feature was first said to be in development back in October 2020 and it's finally rolling out. WhatsApp is yet to officially announce the feature, which means it's going to be a while until it rolls out for everyone. And since we're talking about new features, it looks like WhatsApp is also planning to introduce a "Read Later" feature. You'll be able to mark chats as "Read Later" which is basically an improved version of Archived chats and the incoming notifications for that particular chat will be muted. Source: Indiatoday View the full article
  7. There's been a lot of conversation around WhatsApp and its controversial privacy policy over the last couple of weeks. In fact, a lot of people have started switching to other apps already. And now, the government has decided to step in. Yes, the government has asked WhatsApp to withdraw its controversial privacy policy. Additionally, it has asked the company to respect the "informational privacy and data security of Indian users. © Unsplash According to sources, the government has sent a long list of questions to the company on the issue. It has also noted that having a lenient update for Europe while being stringent in India is discriminatory for Indian users. There's been a lot of discussions surrounding that as well, so it's good to see the government bringing it up. TOI noted that the government has expressed displeasure at how the matter was unveiled by WhatsApp and asked them to take immediate steps to sort it out. What's more interesting is that even a letter has been sent to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart. The government is said to have expressed strong concerns about the policy that has been proposed by the company. The letter says that the update and data-sharing with Facebook will expose Indian users to "greater security risks and vulnerabilities creating a honeypot of information. © Reuters It looks like the government is also strongly against the "all-or-nothing approach" of WhatsApp where it has asked the users to either accept the new T&C or ready to stop using the app and its services. The sources said that "differential and discriminatory treatment of Indian and European users is attracting serious criticism and shows lack of respect for the rights and interests of Indian citizens." Obviously, it remains to be seen what comes out of this whole debacle and whether or not WhatsApp will pull back its new policy. For now, you still have the chance to accept the new terms and continue using them. The company recently extended the deadline till May 15, and we doubt if there'll further extension. We'd like to know what are your thoughts on this, so be sure to let us know by dropping a line in the comments. Source: TOI View the full article
  8. It seems like WhatsApp can’t catch a break after it decided to update its terms of service and force users to accept them or face permanent deletion. Last week, certain WhatsApp groups could be found on Google Search via indexing and it seems like now phone numbers of WhatsApp Web users are now exposed. © Youtube_Softonic Even though the app has been facing intense backlash from existing users, it seems like this new debacle is worse than any of the other grievances. Personal phone numbers are now exposed via the same indexing method on Google Search. Many working professionals have been confined to their homes thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic due to which many people opted to use WhatsApp Web for better productivity and as a way to multi-task. However, Independent cybersecurity researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia shared screenshots with IANS showing indexing of personal mobile numbers of WhatsApp Web users. "The leak is happening via WhatsApp on the Web. If someone is using WhatsApp on a laptop or on an office PC, the mobile numbers are being indexed on Google Search. These are mobile numbers of individual users, not business numbers," Rajaharia told IANS. © Reuters Google is able to index invite links to private WhatsApp group chats that are shared publicly and it seems like the same method worked for exposing the personal information of web users as well. While the indexed WhatsApp group chat links have now been removed from Google; personal phone numbers are still exposed. "Despite WhatsApp advising users and telling Google to remove the earlier exposed group chat links, the mobile numbers via WhatsApp Web application are now being indexed on Google Search," Rajaharia noted. The latest leak of personal mobile numbers via WhatsApp on Web has not been addressed by Facebook, WhatsApp nor Google. For now, WhatsApp has delayed its new terms of service where personal data of users will be shared with other Facebook-owned companies if they have interacted with a business. Businesses use WhatsApp as a mode of communication with customers for support, food orders and other types of commerce. If you have interacted with a business on WhatsApp or continue to do so in the future, WhatsApp will share your personal data with Facebook and companies under its umbrella of corporations including Instagram, Messenger and Facebook ads. © Reuters Many WhatsApp users have already started to flock to other messaging apps that have a better privacy policy and does not force its terms on them. Amongst them, Signal saw a massive increase in new users which led to the servers of the app crash on Friday night. If you are looking to switch between Telegram or Signal, check out our detailed comparison of the two apps and its privacy features here. View the full article
  9. "Personal messages are protected by end-to-end encryption, and WhatsApp and Facebook cannot read or listen to them"
  10. After WhatsApp issued forceful new terms of service; many users around the world have started to switch to alternative messaging apps. However, many wonders which one to switch i.e. Telegram or Signal. Both messaging apps are great for users who are looking for an alternative but they aren’t equally the same when it comes to privacy. For users who cherish their privacy the most; we compare the two major alternatives that users should know about. 1. Disappearing Messages © Reuters Most chat leaks happened either via cloud backups or by screenshots captured by other users. While neither of the apps has any protection from screenshots; they both feature disappearing messages in case you don’t want people to capture screenshots of your texts. Telegram and Signal, both offer this feature and even lets the message sender set a duration for how long to display messages before they're deleted. This is a very nifty feature to have if you want to keep your conversations private and not let peeping toms screenshot what you are saying. 2. Encryption © Playstore This is where both applications differ from each other. On Signal, all texts and calls have end-to-end encryption by default. However, in the case of Telegram, only secret chats have the same level of encryption and do not extend to regular chats. On Signal, you can even relay your calls via Signal servers so that you don’t have to expose your IP address to the caller. This is by far the biggest difference when it comes to message encryption between the two. If you really want to protect your messages and data; Signal seems like a better choice. 3. Backups © christian-wiediger Most leaks happen via chat backup and in order to protect yourself from these problems, Signal offers a better solution than Telegram. Signal only lets people take a local backup of their chats on the smartphone and does not use the cloud whereas on Telegram; it uses cloud backup for your text and call logs. Having said that, local backups can be a double-edged sword as if you lose your phone; you will also lose your chat history along with it. 4. Data Collection © Telegram In the case of data collection, Telegram does collect basic information such as name, phone number, contacts and user ID. However, in the case of Signal, the messaging app follows strict privacy guidelines and does not collect any data. Signal prides itself on being one of the most secure and privacy-sensitive apps out there and it is clearly stated in its privacy policy about practices. Having said that, Telegram plans to roll out advertisements on its platform in the future which means it needs the data to serve ads to its customers. Signal on other hand does not plan to monetise the app anytime soon and instead is funded on donations by users. View the full article
  11. WhatsApp updated privacy policy in India has attracted a lot of attention ever since it was announced. In fact, a lot of users have even decided to ditch the app for other alternatives like Signal and Telegram. Now, a petition has been filed in an Indian court which says that WhatsApp updated privacy policy verges on user surveillance and threatens India's security. Earlier this year, WhatsApp said it reserved the right to share some data including location and phone number with Facebook and its units such as Instagram. This attracted a lot of attention and naturally, it pissed off a lot of its users. © Unsplash Of course, you can choose to ditch the app entirely and move to something else like Signal or Telegram. It's not an ideal solution since it'll be a task to move all your contacts and group chats to a completely new app but that seems like the only option for now in case you don't want to play by WhatsApp's rules. Following the outrage, WhatsApp did note that the new privacy policy update does not the privacy of the messages shared with friends or family. But the damage has been done and now it remains to be seen as to what comes out of this new legal challenge. Source: Reuters View the full article
  12. WhatsApp's updated privacy policy verges on user surveillance and threatens India's security, a court petition says
  13. WhatsApp has seen a mass exodus of users from around the world to alternative apps, thanks to its recent forceful privacy policies. Users in India and other countries were forced to accept the new terms or face permanent account deletion. The new policies share data and information with other Facebook-owned companies and WhatsApp has clarified what sort of data will be shared. © Reuters Even after WhatsApp’s attempt to clear the smoke around its privacy policies, it isn’t enough to convince users. Having said that, one particular region was not forced to accept the new terms and its policies remain unchanged in European countries. This is because European countries enforce a stringent privacy protection law called the “General Data Protection Regulation.” In India, a personal data protection bill is yet to be passed which could be the reason why WhatsApp was so swift at changing its terms. © Pexels In Europe, the GDPR poses heft penalties on companies and service providers that collect more than essential information. Only essential information that is necessary to provide services is permitted for companies to collect. Failure to abide by the GDPR results in a fine of € 20 million or 4% of the annual global turnover of the company. In 2014, Facebook was fined €110 million by the European Commission for misleading users about its WhatsApp acquisition. It was discovered that Facebook staff knew that it was possible to link WhatsApp phone numbers with corresponding Facebook user’s identities. © Reuters It seems like WhatsApp has a different set of rules for countries that regulates privacy protection and for countries that are yet to pass similar acts. India is in dire need of a privacy data protection legislation that will prevent companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and others from collecting any more than essential data required to provide services. In India, users, instead, have to prove that their data has been collected without permission or has been used according to the Section 43A of IT Act,2000. © Pexels “There are no changes to WhatsApp's data-sharing practices in Europe arising from this update. It remains the case that WhatsApp does not share European Region WhatsApp user data with Facebook for the purpose of Facebook using this data to improve its products or ads. The latest update to our Privacy Policy is about providing clearer, more detailed information to our users on how and why we use data” Niamh Sweeney, Director of Policy for WhatsApp, Europe said on Twitter. India’s new Personal Data Protection Bill is yet to be passed and is pending with the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) since December 2019. The new bill will also be able to implement fines on guilty parties of up to Rs 15 Crore. For now, if you don’t wish to share your data with WhatsApp and other Facebook-owned companies, you can check out these three alternatives that don’t force users to give up their personal information. In addition, Telegram CEO also pointed out that WhatsApp has backdoors and the messaging app “intentionally obfuscate their code, making it impossible to verify their encryption and privacy.” View the full article
  14. PTA says that WhatsApp has explained the new terms in Urdu as well to help users in Pakistan
  15. Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli have recently been blessed with a baby girl and urged paparazzi to not click photos of their newborn daughter. Virat Kohli took to Instagram earlier and announced the arrival of their first child expressing that both the baby and the mother are in good health. View this post on InstagramAccording to a report by India TV, the couple has now written a note to the paparazzi fraternity in Mumbai and urged them to respect their daughter’s privacy. The couple also said that they are grateful for all the love that is showered on them. The couple said in a statement, "As parents, we have a simple request to make to you. We want to protect the privacy of our child and we need your help and support.” View this post on Instagram The couple also assured that they will share the content at the right time. They said, "While we will always ensure that you get all the content you need featuring us, we would request you to kindly not take or carry any content that has our child. We know that you will understand where we are coming from and we thank you for the same.” View this post on Instagram Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli announced their pregnancy in August 2020 and now they are parents to a baby girl. Anushka Sharma gave birth to a baby girl at Mumbai's Breach Candy Hospital on 11th January 2021. View the full article
  16. The recent announcement by WhatsApp has created a buzz on social media. According to its new privacy policy update, WhatsApp has now created a more detailed data sharing plan with Facebook. Not only this, it has made it mandatory to accept the new terms and conditions by 8th February. Now, users of the messaging app have started running away from the platform and switching to other available platforms like Signal and Telegram. And now that all this has happened, social media is flooded with hilarious memes. They have been using popular meme templates to make fun of WhatsApp’s privacy policy and the memes will give you a laugh riot! So, here you go- Due To New Update of WhatsApp. ! People shifting from #WhatsApp to #SignalApp pic.twitter.com/RBIvJbwbJ9 — Malika-E-Awadh زہرا (@zehraavadh) January 9, 2021People migrating from @WhatsApp to @signalapp like #SignalApp #Signal pic.twitter.com/Ts01FSuWG8 — TamilComedyGIFs (@tamilcomedygifs) January 9, 2021WhatsApp Headquarters break be like#WhatsAppPrivacyPolicy#SignalApp #WhatsappPrivacy #WhatsApp #Telegram #WhatsAppheadquarters#WhatsappPrivacy pic.twitter.com/imZ85VswIs — Yazhini (@Yazhini_11) January 12, 2021*Finally he proposed me* What's app Headquarter#WhatsAppPrivacyPolicy pic.twitter.com/LvcxeZp9r8 — Zainab (@zainab_bibi__) January 12, 2021After the #WhatsappNewPolicy Me to #Signal :-) pic.twitter.com/rHpCksWgKj — Asutosh Biswal (@Asutosh30520435) January 9, 2021#SignalApp s user after seeing it's privacy: pic.twitter.com/JCqNbWNHJH — Mouse (@KrisUndre) January 9, 2021Me and my friend's after installing signal app be like #SignalApp #WhatsappNewPolicyworst pic.twitter.com/9MwVeQTzQi — SaiGanesh R (@Sai_Ganesh_R) January 9, 2021According to Reuters, more than one lakh users installed Signal across the app stores of Apple and Google in the last two days and Telegram also picked up around nearly 2.2 million downloads. What do you think of the WhatsApp Privacy Policy? Let us know in the comments below! View the full article
  17. Ever since WhatsApp updated its privacy policy a few days ago, there's a lot of outrage among its users, most of who are even thinking about switching to a new platform. Following all the criticism, WhatsApp has decided to give some clarity on its recent privacy policy update. In its statement, WhatsApp confirmed that the latest change didn't affect the privacy policy of messages sent to friends and family in any way and it'll continue to protect our messages with end-to-end encryption. We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption. pic.twitter.com/6qDnzQ98MP — WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 12, 2021 WhatsApp emphasized that it could not see our private messages or hear our voice calls to users. The company noted that there are various rumours about their policy and they wanted to address them before they become applicable from February 8. WhatsApp released a new FAQ page on its site to highlight private communication on the app. In its thread, WhatsApp said, "Neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read your messages or hear your calls with your friends, family, and co-workers on WhatsApp. Whatever you share, it stays between you. Our privacy policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family." In addition to this, WhatsApp also stated that it didn't keep logs of user communications. “While traditionally mobile carriers and operators store this information, we believe that keeping these records for two billion users would be both a privacy and security risk and we don't do it,” it said. © Reuters WhatsApp also made it a point to note that it didn't share your contacts with Facebook and even our group chats are secure and end-to-end encrypted. The only thing WhatsApp says is that it'll continue to track your location even if you are not using its location-related services. WhatsApp uses IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location. You can learn more about what has to say here in their FAQ page. View the full article
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