hiddenAug 26, 2016 13:03:52 IST
By Asheeta Regidi
WhatsApp can now share all information collected with anyone
- Your phone number, profile name and photo, online status and status message, last seen status.
- Your e-mail when you communicate with them for customer service, with no promise that this e-mail address will not be used for any purpose other than for customer service communication.
- Device data, such as hardware model, operating system information, browser information, IP address, mobile network information including phone number, and device identifiers.
- Location data.
- Information on your online status such as when you were last seen online, when you updated your status message, etc.
- Information from third party services that are integrated with WhatsApp, for example, if you share any article from the web using WhatsApp.
- Information on who is messaging you, calling you or which groups you belong to.
WhatsApp’s changes to privacy maybe unfair, but is legal
Is asking customers to opt-out adequate as consent to the changes?
Opt-out mechanisms, like the kind being offered by WhatsApp now, are highly criticised by privacy advocates as a sufficient form of consent. Most users will not take the trouble to read the terms and conditions or understand that unchecking that box can get them better privacy. But sadly, while the opt-out mechanism is only criticised, it is a perfectly legal and valid form of consent. That means that if you do not opt-out on time, you cannot later say that WhatsApp did not inform you adequately or that you did not know you had to opt-out of it.
Why didn’t WhatsApp adequately inform users of the change?
The author is a lawyer with a specialisation in cyber laws and has co-authored books on the subject.