Data Privacy and Corporates



LAST DECEMBER 2020 witnessed the announcement of
Facebook owned Whatsapp’s  “New Privacy Policy” which again
stirred the debate of ‘Data Security’ , ‘Data Mining’ and ‘Corporates keeping
an eye on our personal lives’ among the masses.

  • Whatsapp’s new change in
    their policy will come in effect from March 15.

  • Earlier they were scheduled
    for February 8, but due to mass criticism in their way of implementing the
    new policy had drawn many problems from experts and general public.

One may ask that “why is it
so important to oppose these policies brought by Whatsapp and what will or what
can they do with our data?” 


Our data being used by these
corporates, affects us in so many ways. Experts in Data Science have always emphasized
the importance of maintaining our privacy and using data in the right manner.
Corporates use our data and in turn they manipulate us and generate huge
revenues for their corporations.

Some use legitimate methods of
getting data from their consumers, while some are forcefully installing
trojans, malwares and are also “monetizing our data.”



Corporates like Facebook, obtain
data points like Name, Personal Phone Number, Friends List, Interests,
Location, etc. All these ‘data points’ are then shared or better ‘sold’ to the
third party advertisers, who in turn pay Facebook huge sum of money. Then these
advertisers in turn show us personalized and targeted ads based on the data
points and our recent activities. Users are shown these targeted ads based on their recent activities, who click on these ads and buy the required item or service. Now this may seem like a normal day transaction on an e-commerce website, but the situation here is far more harmful and grave as here, people’s choices are being manipulated and their future actions are being influenced. The amount of data transaction that is going on here, needs some minimal permissions only, from the user end. Thereby, making it an unfair exchange.


Ever since Whatsapp decided to rollout their new privacy policy, people got quite conscious of their data and its privacy. The company decided to bring changes like sharing the vital data of users to third party advertisers, who will be advertising based on it. In India, more than 90 percent active internet users are using Whatsapp on a regular basis. Other Indian instant messaging services like Hike, have not been able to compete against these giants. Experts and many more people around the globe have supported other apps like Telegram and Signal, which provide better deal in terms of the security. Even Elon Musk recently supported Signal app. Whatsapp stores data like name, mobile number, profile picture, IMEI no, location, signal strength, contact list, etc. But Signal, founded by Brian Acton(also the founder of Whatsapp) , it just needs mobile number for registering on the app, which is also not stored. This provides Signal an edge over other messaging apps.

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