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    WhatsApp Terms and Conditions

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...using-the-app/

    This and a few other things are doing the rounds at the moment, is it genuine?

    If yes, is it something to be concerned about?

    I've downloaded Signal as that was recommended by a few people, what else would people recommend.

    Thanks for any help on this.

    #2
    The arseholes in work who use WhatsApp for official business and for group bitching sessions "cos Teams is spying on us" might want to rethink their logic.

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      #3
      Yes, it's genuine. Facebook are gambling on people either not caring or not being able to leave because they can't get the family groups etc. to move to Signal.

      It's a big decision to make, am I going to make it harder for people to contact me? Will people look for other methods of communication if they see I'm not on WhatsApp? And I going to cut myself off from groups of family and friends.

      LS, it rather depends on if your organisation has a mature admin access policy. Top level M365 admins do have the ability to access Teams chats through security and compliance. It's a different type of risk, Facebook use my chats for marketing and probably don't care about contents or people I know may see what I'm taking about. Teams is preferable to communicating official business because it is auditable for GDPR etc. purposes, but with regards to bitching I recognise that one day I might have it read to me, although to be fair that's not stopped me going in on my boss to colleagues.

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        #4
        I shall probably move. I don't use it much anyway.

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          #5
          im a bit perplexed here-as someone who uses whatsapp for private texting only,do i have much to fear?

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            #6
            I'm the same and I'm not on Facebook anyway.

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              #7
              Originally posted by steviecowden View Post
              im a bit perplexed here-as someone who uses whatsapp for private texting only,do i have much to fear?
              I don't think so.

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                #8
                I suppose it depends if you care about Facebook having (and being able to share with other companies) the following data:

                Some of the data that WhatsApp collects includes:
                • User phone numbers
                • Other people’s phone numbers stored in address books
                • Profile names
                • Profile pictures and
                • Status message including when a user was last online
                • Diagnostic data collected from app logs
                WhatsApp, according to the App Store, reserves the right to collect:
                • Purchases
                • Financial information
                • Location
                • Contacts
                • User content
                • Identifiers
                • Usage data and
                • Diagnostics

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                  #9
                  Thanks Levin for that, much appreciated.

                  Does this mean they can have access to everything on my phone or only everything on WhatsApp?

                  I'm guessing at best we'll start to see targeted ads with the option of a paid subscription to avoid them, at worst mass data harvesting in true Facebook style.

                  ​​​​​​​Have you read the article Sporting with what potentially could be taken?

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                    #10
                    I think it means they can have access to everything on your phone that you have given WhatsApp access to, which is quite a lot (address book, location, the times you're online, who you interact with and how often, the names of any WhatsApp groups you're in, what phone you have, who your mobile and internet providers are etc.)

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Fussbudget View Post
                      I think it means they can have access to everything on your phone that you have given WhatsApp access to, which is quite a lot (address book, location, the times you're online, who you interact with and how often, the names of any WhatsApp groups you're in, what phone you have, who your mobile and internet providers are etc.)
                      Thanks for that.

                      I think I'll be moving to Signal then.

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                        #12
                        I couĺď conceivably change but other people I have to be in contact with won't.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Sporting View Post
                          I couĺď conceivably change but other people I have to be in contact with won't.
                          That's my worry as well, I'll wait a little before making a decision.

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                            #14
                            i suppose i could just remove fb from my phone?

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                              #15
                              The issue with that is their tracking you even if you don't use the app, which is only illegal in some jurisdictions

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                                #16
                                WhatsApp is the only part of the Facebook ecosystem that still has its hooks in me and unfortunately I can't dispense with it seeing as most of the tech teams I've worked with maintain WhatsApp groups for co-ordination. I'd also lose the ability to converse with some close friends whose communication channels are spread across a wide array of social media. The one app that we all use is WhatsApp and much as I'd love for everyone in my phonebook to migrate to Signal or Telegram overnight it's not going to happen, unfortunately.

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                                  #17
                                  I've never had Facebook or WhatsApp. I do use Telegram though. People I know who don't have Telegram (ie most of them) I simply text or email instead. It's not a big deal but then I understand if you are already in the ecosystem then it would be harder to leave.

                                  I did read that this ruling doesn't apply to EU countries - they have been really good on protecting privacy for a number of years now. Countries outside of the EU have, I think, until February to decide whether they want to accept the terms or not. However, UK residents have been given a longer period of time to decide. No deadline has been given yet.

                                  As regards alternatives: Signal is supposedly the most secure and championed by the tech-minded. Elon Musk recently urged his Twitter followers to switch to it. It was started, I believe, by one of the WhatsApp founders who got disillusioned with where the company was headed regarding privacy. Telegram is the bigger player and is the number two to Whatsapp in terms of downloads. It was founded by two Russians. It has a bigger file size capacity. As a result, it is used by many for downloading films and TV programmes. Also, the groups (or channels as they call them) can be much bigger than WhatsApp groups and so they have been used by protestors in countries such as Belarus and Hong Kong.
                                  Last edited by Jon; 10-01-2021, 23:36.

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                                    #18
                                    Reg - is WhatsApp officially approved and supported by the organisation?

                                    I’ve been asked a few times to “join the WhatsApp group” for support and refused each time. They have email, Teams and my phone number, they don’t need anything else.

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                                      #19
                                      Snake Plissken Thankfully I don't have to use it in my current role (where Teams is what we're using) but in my previous one there was a group for the engineering team and it was used mostly for telling people if you were going to be late for standup or whatever. Occasionally, on weekends when we had to work to release new versions of our products, there'd be messages like "Is James coming in today? @James can you give me a message when you see this please?" etc. It wasn't officially approved or supported by the organisation but there was no directive not to use it either. The first I knew about it was when I was added to the group when I was on holiday. Checked my phone to see that my new manager had added me to this WhatsApp group full of numbers I didn't recognise. I didn't like it but thankfully that particular manager was a nice guy who was a huge advocate of good work/life balance and implemented a policy of ensuring people didn't have to respond to any messages out of hours.

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                                        #20
                                        Fair enough - it was more than I tend to say "It's not an official support channel". Funnily enough, my new manager just asked me to join and I said no. (The words "It's mainly used for banter and side chat" really didn't sell it...)

                                        I actually don't see the point anyway when you have email and Teams. I've heard tell that you can even put the number into the personal handheld device and it makes you able to talk to the other person but sounds like wild crazy talk.

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                                          #21
                                          Just an idea, would a pay as you go SIM from an EU country be a way to get around these new terms and conditions?

                                          Registering the phone to a number from the EU even if it's used in the UK.

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                                            #22
                                            Originally posted by Antepli Ejderha View Post
                                            Just an idea, would a pay as you go SIM from an EU country be a way to get around these new terms and conditions?

                                            Registering the phone to a number from the EU even if it's used in the UK.
                                            But then presumably you'd be hit with punitive roaming charges. Unless you only used it on WiFi. Had a dedicated WhatsApp phone, that kind of thing?

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                                              #23
                                              Even if you had a separate phone with different number for WhatsApp, it would fairly easy to figure out who you are by the numbers you contact from your phone. Your family members, friends, colleagues. An algorithm would probably crack that fairly quickly.

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                                                #24
                                                Don't even need that. Location and time tracking would do it.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Thanks, so that's not an option then. Looks like it's going to be a combination of Signal and Telegram then.

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