However, the company has clarified that the new terms of service only applies to users messaging business on the platform.
“Messaging with businesses is different than messaging with your family or friends. Some large businesses need to use hosting services to manage their communication. Which is why we’re giving businesses the option to use secure hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions, and send helpful information like purchase receipts,” stats the Company.
IT Channel partners and SIs use Whatsapp/ Whatsapp business account for business practices. In a one on one conversation with DQ Channels, IT partners have shared their perspective on WhatsApp privacy policies.
Ravi Bhavnani, Director, Taurus Computer Systems said, “I feel WhatsApp is so deep-rooted in our day to day working that it’s going to very difficult to shift to any other app. As all our Customers and Vendors are on Whatsapp, it would require a major transition for everyone. There are 2 alternatives as well, Signal and Telegram. If users move to Signal or Telegram, then it is pointless as we all need to be on the same platform for things to move forward. In fact, nowadays our voice calls have reduced due to Whatsapp as major info is being passed on thru WhatsApp.”
Rajeev Mamidanna, Founder and MD Technosprout Systems and Chairman, ISDOA said, “It’s a big change management thing. Unless the customers adopt newer apps, we cannot market using them. So it’s a double-edged sword. It will take time for everyone to adopt an option. Till then, the hybrid approach is what everyone would be taking in my opinion. Email is back to being one of the most sought after marketing tools.”
Alok Gupta, Director, Unistall Systems, “I do not think anything will change and we will forget in a few days.”
Saket Kapoor, Director, Green Vision added, “ WhatsApp privacy issue has been blown out of proportion however some partners have taken reactive initiatives to switch to other platforms like Signal and Telegram.
Neel Shah, Chairman, Insight Business Machines said, “Text messages and other media files, are only stored offline on the user’s device. WhatsApp does not store on its own servers and that is why when WhatsApp installed on a new phone, chat history is not automatically get synced like Instagram or Facebook Messenger. Just like text messages, voice and video calls are also end-to-end encrypted. WhatsApp doesn’t record, track or listen to audio and video calls. Yes, WhatsApp does gather approximate location data which is given away by phone number and IP address. But information on shared live location with a friend is not transmitted to Facebook.”
“It causes some concern, with regard to Facebook and data sharing but still not everything is true which is pointed in the social media. Of course, one can still choose to give WhatsApp for another app if not comfortable with new policies but remember WhatsApp is using the same end-to-end encryption protocol as Signal, the app that many are now turning towards”, he further added.
Manasi Saha, Owner, Macaws Infotech, “There was always an issue with Facebook regarding privacy. This is nothing new. Whatsapp has been acquired by Facebook long back. Hence, this was a threat now it has come as information but there is always an option to accept or to decline. Any sensitive information should not be sent by WhatsApp that’s it. We have other mediums available for that.”