Which messaging app to use in 2021? Is Whatsapp safe to use after its policy updates?

Difference

INTRODUCTION:

Did you ever notice, when you watch a Youtube video, you get ads relevant to your needs or choices? In all the shopping apps, you will be seen things that you liked the most or viewed the recent. In Google search, you get the display of your search activity. If you have noticed, did you ask yourself why and how? If not, then let me tell you that you are in big trouble because you don’t even know that your life is in others’ hands.
Gone those days when your life was private and very much individual to you, your family, and friends. In this digital age, not even a single BIT of information remains with you. Everything that happens in your life will be known to every corporate company out there. They are gonna decide every factor of your life. This might be trembling you with nightmares, but this is the Reality. You can’t escape from it. In this article, I am going to answer two questions which many of them don’t know. Those are “Why you see relevant ads and how you see relevant ads,” by which I will connect to my topic title “Is Whatsapp safe to use after its policy updates?” Also, I would share the best alternatives and their advantages over Whatsapp. Let’s get started.

ROOT CAUSE:

First of all, everything on the Internet is FREE. Also, everyone wants everything for free and to be free of cost. That may be a valid point, but to what extent. Also, what can be its consequences. Because nothing in this World is free, then how come you get everything for free. Somewhere it has to balance right. Here comes our first question, “Why you see relevant ads?” because every company needs money to run its organization. They need a lot of money to upgrade their organization. They have cost to invest in its Infrastructure, Employees, Services provided, and everywhere. Where can they bring this money from?
Of course, if the idea is good, they will get funded, but how much and till how many years? They somehow have to manage to get funds to their companies; If they won’t then, they would end up selling it or closing it completely. To generate revenue, ads are the most efficient way.
Ads will make the companies richer, so the companies prefer to advertise others on their sites or enable ads on their sites. But what kind of ads will they publish, and which other company ads they publish so that they get revenue. How to target their audience with their ads? This question answers our next question of “How you see relevant ads?” These days every company is grabbing information about users in many ways. They are not leaving any opportunity they find to get information.
Because in this generation, “Information is Wealth.” As much as information you have, the wealthier you are. As big tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple have large users, they have a lot of information with them. Other top companies also collect data from your smartphone by demanding you to allow the permissions for all the content in your phones, such as Contacts, Cameras, Calendars, microphones, speakers, photos, and videos. By this, every company is gaining access to all your personal information. Some apps are also demanding permissions to some content that are not even required for them, such as Flipkart is asking for access to Camera, which has no purpose. These tech giants should be responsible and should be transparent for having their services, but instead, they are using our data against us.
They project that they would be using this data to improve themselves. Part of it may be right, but the actual usage of this information is to sell this to relevant companies so that they can target you. I can explain this with an example; let’s think that you have searched in Google for “Places to visit in Goa.” Now that Google knows that you are planning to visit Goa. It sells the information that some “X” user is planning to visit Goa to a tourist company and ticketing company and hospitality service company and many more. They buy this and use this against you by providing relevant ads of discounts, least prices, best deals, and many more. So that by any chance, if you got tempted by those ads and made the purchase, it will be a profit to them.
Now here’s the glitch. Each company may or may not sell its data. I can’t say every sells their data to other companies. But if they do, they have their own ways of doing it. Some sell complete information, while some sell only “Metadata.” So what is Metadata? Metadata is a type of data that doesn’t contain complete details. This just contains information that is useful to other companies. For example, If you use Google Maps frequently to be helpful in traveling, then Google sells the metadata of “Some X person likes traveling and frequently travels” to some traveling services so that they would send you ads to purchase your next travel ticket with them. This way, not everything needs to be sold to others. For users, it may look like a joke, but this is how it works. Many top companies such as Facebook, True caller, Google have faced legal issues for having sold their data.

ACTUAL DISCUSSION :

Now here comes our topic “Is Whatsapp safe to use after its latest policy updates?”. Recently, Whatsapp has changed its policies and is forcing its users to accept it before February 8th,2021, or it would delete their account. This update has made everyone think about whether to use it or not. The World’s Richest man “Elon Musk” has asked to switch to another messaging app that has gained more popularity and also a reason to think about it. So what’s exactly in that policy which we need to concern about.
The main change which we need to observe that concerns the most is “ Whatsapp as a part of Facebook Companies, it can share information across this family of companies.” This means now WhatsApp has the right to share your information with Facebook if they need to, and also, this applies to all its services unless specified others. Even before this policy, Whatsapp used to collect information but didn’t use to share with its Parent Companies, but now it can share. Besides basic information, they also collect Automatically collected information which is not useful to them to develop but only to use as Metadata against you.

See below screenshots to understand them in a better way

After saying all this, It’s my duty to provide information about the alternative app which is more secure and protects our data and also offers good service as and over Whatsapp. Only 2 other apps provide such service and they are “Signal” and “Telegram”. I will provide a table which will give you all the details.

 WhatsAppTelegramSignal
Information they collectDevice ID
User ID
Advertising Data
Purchase History
Coarse Location
Phone Number
Email Address
Contacts
Product Interaction
Crash Data
Performance Data
Other Diagnostic Data
Payment Info
Customer Support
Product Interaction Other User Content  
Name
Phone Number
Contacts
User ID  
Phone Number

Final Thoughts :

Yes, Whatsapp cannot be relied on. But people won’t move away from WhatsApp. You still need to use it because of your other families and friends. But you can do one thing, you can clear all your chats now and you can continue important chats or discussions over other apps and just use WhatsApp for others.

Sharing is the new LOVE

10 thoughts on “Which messaging app to use in 2021? Is Whatsapp safe to use after its policy updates?

  1. a) As mentioned in the article nothing is free in this world. How come telegram and signal are going to survive without ads/money?
    How we are sure that they are not stalking / taking information from us?
    b) As per rules of GOI or according to company policy Whatsapp is end to end encrypted including images and video calls, which Whatsapp server has no right (unable ) to decrypt the information of user . Decryption is done at user end which means Whatsapp has no other means to share our data. How the information from Whatsapp is shared to it’s parent company?
    Ps: I don’t know much about technology/ I am a noob in technology perse.

    1. Hello Vineeth,
      Thanks for the comments. I would answer your questions. Firstly, Telegram and Signal are surviving on donations and investments. Don’t know till what time they are going to survive or they would charge from us or do same as Whatsapp. You can check the screenshots placed in post on how they have right to share the data. Ofcourse, they are decrypted at the user end that doesnt mean that data is not stored in their servers. As long as they have data, they have right to do anything.
      Hope this clears your queries. Happy Exploring!

      1. Totally agree with you Prathamesh. The best example that data is stored in WhatsApp servers is being able to download attachments even if they’re very old. There is definitely a life span for messages stored in the servers (who would want to incur costs for very old data) but yeah, they do store.
        Signal offers more security by disabling cloud backups. Signal is going to be free as long as they don’t sell themselves for some company like Facebook.

  2. I am using Telegram from long time, but by reading this article, I came to know about the new app Signal. Some key points of article are ‘Nothing is free’, ‘Information is Wealth’.
    I also learnt the Features of apps and income of apps.
    This is an Eye opening article who are using WhatsApp.
    Thank you for your article.

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