Whatsapp’s new updates aim to better protect privacy and improve data protection: we’re taking a look.
Short review on WhatsApp
2014 Whatsapp was bought by Facebook. In 2018 there was a scandal over neglect of privacy at data analytics company Cambridge Analytica. In the meantime, Facebook founded the parent company Mega Platforms, Inc., which also includes Whatsapp.
Since the scandal, there has been repeated criticism of the handling of users’ personal data. That is why the group has announced new updates in exactly this direction. The latest update includes three features designed to protect privacy:
1. “Online Presence” : Online Presence : Purpose Privacy
You can set who see know if you are online. This can be set for some or optionally for all contacts. Of course, this is a desirable feature. Because just because you are currently using WhatsApp or simply not changing your status does not necessarily mean that you can be reached. Do all contacts really have to know whether their own smartphone is switched on and whether they are using the app? So this is a useful feature for privacy.
2. “Screenshot Blocking for View Once” : Screenshot Blocking for View Once
If you use send once to send videos or photos, others can don’t take a screenshot of it. It’s a neat feature that I’m sure some WhatsApp users will find reassuring. But one should also note that there are always ways around locks. Therefore, you should consider from the outset who you are sending what to. This feature emphasizes data protection without hindering the general function of sending media.
However, this does not say anything about the collection of personal data. Finally, the messages sent via WhatsApp can still be copied. If a corporation or individual were planning to collect data, they would not necessarily be interested in the images or videos themselves, but more in the information exchanged.
3. “Leave Groups Silently” : leave groups silently : for privacy
You can leave a group “silently” without it being posted to the whole group. The admin of the group will of course be notified. This function can already be used this month. This is also a very useful function for all users, as it supports the component of informational self-determination.
Use of WhatsApp banned within companies
All these updates are helpful to keep privacy. However, a bad image will not go away with a few updates. Until this happens, WhatsApp would probably have to introduce some time and further measures. Only then should corporations think about recommending the app for communication within their companies. In the year 2020 the Federal Data Protection Commissioner warned against any professional use. In Germany, companies are still not allowed to use the app for business communication for data protection reasons.
WhatsApp is also part of Meta, which includes Facebook, which does not necessarily diminish concerns about further data protection violations. The operating company still has a long way to go before WhatsApp can be used commercially in Germany. Path. The announced features for data protection will not bring much. The project is more reminiscent of window dressing and does not change how the metadata of the users can be used.