Tag: Facebook

Facebook, step back on WhatsApp privacy after user leak. New rules postponed by 3 months

Facebook, step back on WhatsApp privacy after user leak. New rules postponed by 3 months

WhatsApp privacy: Mark Zuckerberg rethinks its last decision. On February 8, there will be no update to the WhatsApp privacy policy that will make the accounts of those who do not accept unusable. The forced sharing of some data with Facebook, which has raised a cloud of controversy worldwide, has been postponed for three months. In a matter of days, rival messaging apps like Telegram and Signal experienced a download boom. Although analysts believe that in key ones WhatsApp is so ingrained that its opponents can’t overthrow it, today, Facebook is in danger of losing ground in some markets

Step back of Mark Zuckerberg’s colossus on the new privacy rules of WhatsApp, which would have forced hundreds of millions of users outside Europe to share their data with the social network Facebook. The news caused the real escape of users attentive to personal privacy to other applications such as Signal, also following endorsements such as that of Elon Musk. And so, everything was postponed to May 15, the date on which you will be asked to review and accept the terms. The decision, the company explains, is linked to the “confusion” that has been created, also because “the latest update does not change anything” of the fundamental concept of the company.

“We are aware that our recent update has created a bit of confusion,” the company wrote. “Since the circulation of incorrect and untruthful information has caused concern, we want to clarify and make sure everyone understands the principles we rely on,” he adds. The application, writes WhatsApp, is based on a simple concept: everything you share with family and friends stays with you. “This means we will continue to protect your conversations with end-to-end encryption.” Affirmed the note. The new business options, adds the messaging service, are “optional” and allow users to exchange messages with companies that use WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is the most used messaging app for chatting. But many have also decided to try Signal, an application that allows you to communicate on iOS and Android. And which, for many, would be the safest app in the industry. Signal managed, in a short time, to sneak between Zuckerberg’s mobile application and Telegram, the other chat alternative to WhatsApp. Signal has several features that WhatsApp lacks: the two apps can coexist within our smartphones thanks to their particular peculiarities.

The apps, both available for iOS and Android systems and in the desktop web version, are similar but have features that allow you to distinguish one or the other in everyday use. Both Signal and WhatsApp can count on an intuitive interface. It doesn’t take much to understand how they work. You can make voice and video calls, create groups, and so on. With WhatsApp, it is possible to create group chats up to 256 users while on Signal we have a maximum of 1,000 users.

With Signal within the groups, it is not possible to see if one of our contacts has viewed a message or to check if he is online while on WhatsApp it is. Signal can count on many animated stickers, while on WhatsApp they have recently been introduced, and the functionality and use are limited. Signal also has an app for iPad and tablets, while WhatsApp does not. Signal can count on timed messages that self-destruct according to an indicated time limit. WhatsApp has recently introduced this function but indicating automatic deletion after seven days.

Since it arrived in the digital stores, Signal has distinguished itself for an important element: putting the users’ safety and privacy first. Before others, it introduced end-to-end encryption, the same available for some years also on WhatsApp. And it allows you to use an option that changes the keyboard in incognito mode, preventing the words used in the chats from being saved from the history of the smartphone or from the application itself.

Of course, WhatsApp has a large pool of users built over the years. Today everyone uses the app to text, and it is easier to get in touch with users via WhatsApp than via Signal, although the recent download boom could unbalance this element. The monopoly on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp is a reality that has been consolidating over the last few years. But this increasingly worries the users interested in knowing how this affects the processing of their data.

WhatsApp privacy policy: company offers clarifications over circulating claims

WhatsApp privacy policy: company offers clarifications over circulating claims

WhatsApp privacy policy: Past few days have emerged quite controversial for global chatting app WhatsApp led by the latest policy update which has brought it in middle of a storm. According to the update, further data sharing will be carried out with its parent company Facebook. Users have been given a deadline of accepting all the terms and conditions of the new policy by February 8, 2021 or else their accounts would be deactivated. This has led to a sparked exodus to other apps like Telegram and Signal.

There have been zillion claims circulating, ironically on WhatsApp, that are creating confusion and zero transparency into the exact whereabouts of the new policy. Furthermore, the fact that the organization is imposing a “full or void” formula to the policy acceptance rendering that users have no choice in accepting the policies has led to quite a rebuke and exodus from vastly popular chatting platform. But now the messenger app has clarified the move by sharing an explanation over its “data sharing clause” in the updated terms and conditions. 

The updated version of WhatsApp Terms and Conditions says, “As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp receives information from and shares information with the other Facebook Companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products.” 

In recent official statement by WhatsApp in an attempt to offer some clarification into the controversy, the Facebook owned messenger app said that data sharing with Facebook would not change. It also said that starting February 8, 2021, data sharing will take place between Facebook Business and WhatsApp Business accounts. It clarified that the platform for those using it for instant messaging would not be affected. 

The statement clarifies that dealing of personal chats will not change and it will continue to be end-to-end encrypted. This means that no third-party can read the chats. WhatsApp policy adds, “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.”

Regarding sharing location with Facebook, WhatsApp said that only approximate location information would be shared with the parent company. It also said that location when shared on the app, it would only be protected between sender and receiver, and is not transmitted to Facebook. 

WhatsApp also made it clear that it does not record, or listen to audio and/ or video calls made through it. Data of these calls remains end-to-end encrypted and thus secure, just like the text messages. 

Though WhatsApp has tried to clear the air and clarify misconceptions, the main hurdle in way of the app remains lack of trust and confidence with Facebook, its parent company. When it comes to data sharing with Facebook, only European Union has clear laws that exempt WhatsApp from doing so. As for the other nations, there are two choices for WhatsApp users. First is to continue using the platform and hope for new laws regarding data protection to be implemented in their country. Second is clear, and unsurprisingly looking at current exodus from the platform, is to switch to another platform that is not keen on data collection. 

Stop censuring dissent: MENA activists to Facebook, Twitter
Middle East & Africa

Stop censuring dissent: MENA activists to Facebook, Twitter

Stop censuring dissent: Activists write open letter to Twitter, Facebook, urging to stop silencing critical voices in MENA

Marking the 10th anniversary of the Arab Spring, around 17 human rights organizations from Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have issued a letter to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, condemning their actions to silence critical opinions from marginalised and oppressed communities in the region.

During the Arab Spring, citizens and activists across MENA countries used social media to raise voices and push for social justice and political change. For years now, thousands of peaceful protesters and activists have relied on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to draw the attention of the world to various causes including police brutality and climate change in their respective countries. 

However, in recent years, social media platforms have introduced a number of policies and content moderation policies that have resulted in silencing and effacing dissent voices. 

In the letter, the signatories have alleged that Facebook and Twitter have censored key activists, journalists, and other changemakers throughout the region. 

The signatories including journalists,  activists, and human rights organizations said that they have come together to voice their frustration and dismay at the practices of social media platforms in suppressing the opinions of marginalized and oppressed communities across Middle East and North Africa.

“These platforms often fail to protect human rights defenders when concerns are raised,” the statement said.

They added that arbitrary and non-transparent account suspension and removal of political and critical speech have become frequent acts. They have enlisted a number of incidents where Facebook and Twitter disabled the accounts of activists and journalists in countries like Syria, Tunisia, Egypt and Palestine to silent their voices.  

“The MENA region has one of the world’s worst records on freedom of expression, and social media remains critical for helping people connect, organize, and document human rights violations and abuses,” the statement added. 

In the letter, human rights organisations urged the social media giants to not “be complicit in censorship and erasure of oppressed communities’ narratives and histories.”

They further suggested a number of measures to Facebook and Twitter to ensure that users are treated fairly and they are able to voice their opinion freely.

They called on the social media giants to actively engage activists, local users, human rights defenders and civil society members from MENA countries in a bid to address the concerns of unfair discrimination. In addition, they called on the social media platforms to invest in regional expertise to design and implement context-based content moderation decisions in line with the prevailing human rights frameworks across the MENA region. 

Human rights defenders also appealed the platforms to pay special focus on such incidents related to war and conflict zones in a bid to ensure that content moderation procedures do not target marginalized communities in the region. It will also help in ensuring greater transparency across the platforms. 

United States sues Facebook of monopoly and unfairly crushing its competition

United States sues Facebook of monopoly and unfairly crushing its competition

United States sues Facebook: The United States’ Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 48 states sued Facebook for holding a monopoly that has unlawfully purchased and crushed its competition. 

The case states that the company bought Instagram for $1bn in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 for $19bn, and crushed rivalry that might have tested their industry strength. The antitrust lawful was declared by New York principal attorney general Ms. Letitia James. 

Facebook is more than $800bn in value and it controls three of the most popular social media and messaging apps that are used by people all around the globe.

Ms. James expressed that “For almost 10 years, Facebook has utilized its predominance and monopoly power to squash more modest adversaries and shattered rivalry.” 

On Wednesday, the FTC documented its own legal suit against Facebook in Washington DC government court. However, if we win the case it could prompt the primary court-order which will break up Facebook in years. 

“Facebook’s latest activities to strengthen, sustain its monopoly and deny consumers the advantages of competition.”Our point is to move back Facebook’s anti-competitive direct and reestablishes rivalry so advancement and free competition can flourish,” says FTC.

Facebook says we will review the cases and complaints filed against us.

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