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Is it time we quit WhatsApp?

mindninjax profile image Rishabh Singh ⚡ ・1 min read

No matter what you do, there is a very high probability that you must be using WhatsApp very often in your daily life. But due to recent policy changes in WhatsApp, it has raised some serious privacy concerns.

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According to the new policy, WhatsApp will be sharing the following user data with Facebook:

  • user ID
  • device ID
  • purchase history
  • advertising data
  • phone number
  • coarse location
  • contacts
  • email address
  • crash data
  • product integration
  • payment information
  • diagnostic data
  • performance data
  • product interaction
  • customer support
  • & other user data

This huge list might have scared you the same way it has scared other 2 billion active users around the world.

Discuss


So as a developer, what are your opinions on data trade which is going on among companies such as WhatsApp & Facebook?

And are you planning to ditch WhatsApp as well & move on to a better privacy-friendly service like Signal & Telegram?

Please share your thoughts in Discussions/Comments

Discussion (52)

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lelouchbrowneyes profile image
LelouchBrowneyes

I'm on telegram now and i think i can deal with quitting whatsapp. It's been 2 years now that i use telegram more than any others socials network and right now whatsapp just make the flight of users from WhatsApp to Telegram, already ongoing for a few years, accelerated !
Durov speech about whatsapp policy changes: t.me/durov/145

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mindninjax profile image
Rishabh Singh ⚡ Author • Edited

Yes, I personally think that Telegram is far better than any other communication app out there. Not only it has a strict privacy-friendly policy but also it's loaded with amazing features which makes it the superhero of social apps.

I personally like the bulk file sharing and high group limits in telegram. Which is your favorite feature of Telegram?

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lelouchbrowneyes profile image
LelouchBrowneyes

My favorite feature stay the Saved message: This is like Google drive with no limitation; you can store anything with size < 2Gib on it and that s just amazing

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mindninjax profile image
Rishabh Singh ⚡ Author

Oh yeah! Actually I love it so much... It's like we can also make quick notes into it for later reference... Perfect for someone who often forgets things 😉

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edgarngg profile image
edgarngg

This feature along with some other storage related ones will make Telegram go through a tough time as a company, please all be ready to support Telegram when they need us.

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mroeling profile image
Mark Roeling

I do use Telegram as well, however Telegram doesn't support e2e encryption for normal messaging. So for the few people that I have on Telegram I've suggested to use Signal instead.

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amcroce profile image
Álvaro Croce

Do you know Telegram uses e2e with no backup in their secret chats?

I'm not against Signal, but I always found strange that people used that same not well informed excuse to use WhatsApp.

Signal is more niche I think, I understand that people need that over another app, but in my opinion the e2e excuse misleads people into think that Telegram is insecure.

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xol profile image
Andre Rother

But as far as I understand, thats not the case in group chats. Or I don't see a secret group chat activation in the menu.

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amcroce profile image
Álvaro Croce • Edited

No, I didn't found that either. I guess for them you can only keep a secret between two people :D

Does Signal has an encrypted group chat? They store the chat history somewhere ? I need to search and read about that because I don't know, and that might be a key difference.

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xol profile image
Andre Rother

In their knowledge base article[1], they write:

Signal service has no record of your group memberships, group titles, group avatars, or group attributes.

They also have a blog post[2] where they explain everything in detail about how group chats work. In [2], if you scroll down, they write:

Communication is private

Communication is private on Android, iOS and Desktop. And this includes the group chat feature. But as far as I understand, the communication is stored but is encrypted. [3] According to Signal:

Signal messages and calls cannot be accessed by us or other third parties because they are always end-to-end encrypted, private, and secure.

[1] support.signal.org/hc/en-us/articl...
[2] signal.org/blog/signal-private-gro...
[3] support.signal.org/hc/en-us/articl...

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mindninjax profile image
Rishabh Singh ⚡ Author

Telegram has it's own flaws😭 but hopefully since a lot of people are moving on it... Telegram will add e2e soon so that people can use Telegram without any worries...

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mindninjax profile image
Rishabh Singh ⚡ Author

Preety clever 🔥 I also just wish if Telegram had e2e more easily accessible... Meanwhile using Signal sounds like a great option 🚀

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skylee91 profile image
Sky Lee

Yes I have been using telegram for more than 3 years. It has been improved a lot. Give it a try. I also migrated all my friend groups to telegram from WhatsApp.

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lelouchbrowneyes profile image
LelouchBrowneyes

Great choice !!!

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mindninjax profile image
Rishabh Singh ⚡ Author

That's really amazing! I am glad you're taking a step and also encourage your friends 🔥 Keep going ⚡

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andreidascalu profile image
Andrei Dascalu

I would love to throw it away. But it's impractical due to many family members that use it.
I already gave up FB, adding whatsapp is a lot of work at the moment.
I've switched to a mix of Slack and Signal for a few years now but still have to use whatsapp as well.

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mindninjax profile image
Rishabh Singh ⚡ Author • Edited

Yes, I really feel so difficult to completely get away from WhatsApp... I wish at least they could bring a subscription-based service model which in my opinion sounds a lot safer & practical rather than selling our data.

Also, do you have any plans for making your family members get on a more privacy-friendly platform? Because as we know it's difficult for our parents and other elder family members to learn new apps from scratch. This is going to be a challenge for many of us...

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edgarngg profile image
edgarngg

I guess it would be easy to convince family members to make the switch because maybe they trust you more than someone else.

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andreidascalu profile image
Andrei Dascalu

Well, they do ... but they also use WhatsApp a lot. If they were using only mainly to talk just to me or some family they might do it, but they also have their own contacts for which they use WhatsApp a lot and so on.
Couldn't get my mom off Facebook even though many in my family quit it.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Once the native mobile story across iOS and Android is a little more fleshed out and a few upcoming UX adjustments are shipped, I really want to get my family on a Forem.

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surajondev profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma

If the implementation is as bad as Facebook then surely people will leave WhatsApp just like Facebook.

The modern concern is personal privacy and data. If such companies starting to sell our data then they can influence us to buy and invest in useless things.

I might use WhatsApp for few weeks after changes to see "How they implementing all the changes"

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mindninjax profile image
Rishabh Singh ⚡ Author

That's very correct bro! Tech giants were controlling our lives since years but its now time we take our privacy into our hands because if no one starts then everyone would end up being a rag doll hanging with strings of FB. Also, feel free to share what you conclude from your observation.

Also which platform you will be going after once you have planned to ditch WhatsApp for once and all?

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abbm586 profile image
Brian

WhatsApp ws da first and somehow was able to get global popularity.
If we jump off WhtasApp it will b based on location. There is now several derivatives.
In South Africa, Telegram was already competing with WhatsApp.
Bcz there is no size limit or specific file type, it bcame popular with sharing study materials.

I hav never heard of Signal until Elon's tweet was headlined a week ago...

There's no way a billion (50%) of ppl wil jump off...
Especially non-techy guys who took 3-6 months to use WhatsApp optimally...

WhatsApp death will b cause by Instant-msg killer... Just like email did to pen-pals...

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surajondev profile image
Suraj Vishwakarma

Might be I use signal as it look like perfect replacement of signal. I can shift to signal but my other contact might or might not shift to signal or other platforms.

Let's see what happen.

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clay profile image
Clay Ferguson

Everyone should abandon Twitter and Facebook, and every one of their fellow conspirators. They're abusing their power and trying to censor the internet.

For me the last straw was when they said no one can talk about the Hunter Laptop, which easily swung the election, because a post-election poll proved that indeed 68% of the public had never heard of the Biden scandals until the day after then election, when suddenly the MSM and everyone was allowed to discuss it.

Regardless of which side you are on, everyone should agree we can't endure a situation where two companies can conspire to control speech and information.

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tycoon1 profile image
Mubashir Hasan

yeah absolutely #boycott fb and twitter

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tycoon1 profile image
Mubashir Hasan • Edited

How dare twitter boycotted a sitting president of the United States. Twitter just crossed the line. Facebook has already crossed the line

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ryanguitar profile image
Ryan Els

I am sticking with Whatsapp. It has the same privacy policies as Telegram and Signal but it is a far superior app. Gathering and sharing users data is happening all over and has been going on for years. There is no way around it. That is why the app is free.

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mrrcollins profile image
Ryan Collins

In the US, it's pretty easy to ditch WhatsApp since a lot of people don't use it. 😄

I switched my family to Telegram several years ago. The features make it an easy sell, it can do things that other services don't. My family has a group that we use to share pictures and plan events. It works very, very well. Telegram is my favorite current messaging app.

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adnanhz profile image
Adnan • Edited

I don't really care and it's practically impossible to move everyone over to a new app. I'm using these services for free in exchange for some information they use to show me ads, yeah whatever, do your thing. It's not like I'm chatting on Whatsapp about the next heist on the federal reserve lol.

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u8nc profile image
MiAn • Edited

I get your point, but don't forget they scan content for certain phrases, and we have no confidence that you wouldn't be remembered for writing "I'm chatting on Whatsapp about the ......... reserve" with the innocent parts filtered out.

When the time comes for you to be before the hanging' judge they can just declare they kept the phrase "for security purposes" but filtered and sanctimoniously discarded the rest for privacy compliance.

We of all people should know that, its what they infer, then store whether correct or not that is our concern.

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dkruythoff profile image
Darius Kruythoff

Although 2014 was already a good time, now is as good a time as any.
Even as a EU citizen, which should protect me from FB data abuse, this has gone too far for my liking.
I'm already forcing/encouraging my family to switch to Signal.
I'll likely keep WhatsApp around, but I'll try real hard to minimze its use.

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haxnet profile image
HaxNet

I only speak to a few on whatsapp because of my clients. But I am going to leave whatsapp

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mindninjax profile image
Rishabh Singh ⚡ Author

Yes, I understand. Work is an important part of life and we may have to seek the shade of Whatsapp sometimes.

To which platforms will you be heading on once you ditch WhatsApp?

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haxnet profile image
HaxNet

I'm switched already. I use telegram and signal. Telegram mostly

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marko911 profile image
Marko Bilal

I've noticed a mass exodus amongst a lot of friends these last 2 days. Lets hope everyone switches over.

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mindninjax profile image
Rishabh Singh ⚡ Author

Fingers crossed!

Which will be your choice btw - Signal or Telegram?

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marko911 profile image
Marko Bilal

Signal

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mroeling profile image
Mark Roeling

After the previous Whatsapp update, I started to use Telegram. However, with this WA update I reconsidered and probably will switch to Signal instead. Reason? e2e encryption.
telegra.ph/Why-Isnt-Telegram-End-t...

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moranmono profile image
moranmono • Edited

I am definitely going to leave. I had it with Facebook and whasapp has less features then the competition

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mindninjax profile image
Rishabh Singh ⚡ Author

This is very true, it's now time to move on to a better platform which resects our privacy.

I would prefer using Signal & Telegram. Which ones will you be using?

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moranmono profile image
moranmono

I am betting on Telegram as a good alternative, and I think it's going to be an easy sell for my friends

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tycoon1 profile image
Mubashir Hasan

Not even that fb even sells your private messages.
For more info
"Yes, they claim to encrypt all your messages but they are all stored on their servers and as part of the terms and conditions they (through FB) are allowed to sell it."

Source: quora.com/Does-WhatsApp-sell-our-d...

Another source theverge.com/2020/12/17/22180258/g...

Whatsapp is a privacy nightmare. You guys really need to look for alternatives.

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abbm586 profile image
Brian

The funny irony abt data privacy on this platforn...
Is that any of us could be the Dev coding the functions to sniff data 4m WhatsApo to Facebook...
Or any institution selling data on pretence of offerin a free application... :) :) :)

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klawrow profile image
Claro A Briones

I ditched FB years ago (2013 I think) for this same reason, but like many have mentioned, I have to convenience people to jump with me.

I've been on Signal for sometime now (before it was cool, thanks Elon) and I've managed to get some family and friends to switch, but it's definitely going to be a challenge to get everyone to switch. In the meantime I have to rely on good old text messages.

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aaronmccollum profile image
Aaron McCollum

Isn't WhatsApp owned by Facebook? I figured this was already going on between the two since they are connected.

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spiritbro1 profile image
spiritbro1

yes for me i built my own chat application

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cristiano profile image
cristiano

Thanks for doing this breakdown of what data can now be accessed.

I would love to be able to switch completely to Signal but most of my contacts are still on WhatsApp. Since the new privacy policy came out I have seen a lot more have adopted Signal which is great but I am not sure if these policy changes will impact on how many people use WhatsApp.

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nihalraj97 profile image
Nihal Raj

Then you have to quit Instagram, messenger and Facebook

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programmerno24 profile image
Darsh • Edited

I think we should really quite using the whatsap now

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fasidongit profile image
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niallus profile image