Whatsapp starts a new attempt to explain
This generated an unprecedented counter-pressure, which was expressed in protests and massive emigration to other messengers such as Threema or Signal. Since then Whatsapp has tried to limit damage and tries to explain itself.
In mid-February we received a press release that wanted to inform us that Whatsapp was now up to wants to show its users the following banner via the messenger function status on May 15th:
The – including the new explanation page on the web – should now make it unmistakably clear that Whatsapp is in Basically just introducing an improved way for companies to get in touch with users and do business with them. Otherwise, Whatsapp assures not to change anything in terms of data protection – especially end-to-end encryption – and not to share contacts with Facebook.
Of course, the question may be asked why the users then absolutely and above all without exception have to agree to new conditions. Even people who do not intend to communicate in any way with companies via Whatsapp are ultimately forced by the mandatory consent if they want to continue using Whatsapp. That could have been solved more elegantly.
Whatsapp don’t throw you out
Techcrunch then asked what exactly should happen if users do not give their consent by May 15. An FAQ entry gives a relatively sparse answer: “You will receive calls and notifications for a short time, but you can neither read nor send messages in the app.”
When asked by Techcrunch, the term “short time” should be interpreted as “a few weeks”. Accounts should continue to be deleted according to the previous rules, i.e. after 120 days of inactivity.
Whatsapp alternatives: Messenger from Signal to Threema to Wire
Look, we have messages for you
Concretely, that would have meant that WhatsApp would have the accounts of those who did not agree t does not switch off, but continues to deliver calls and notifications. Otherwise, the app would not have been able to be used.
During the inactivity period, i.e. from May 15th if consent was not given, WhatsApp Theoretically, users then had 120 days to reactivate their account. Whether calls and notifications would have been delivered for as long seemed unlikely.
And back down again: May 15th no longer deadline
Now Whatsapp communicated another withdrawal last weekend . The new official position is as follows:
While the majority of users who received the new Terms of Service have accepted them, we understand that some People haven’t had the opportunity to do this yet.
Therefore, on May 15th, we will not delete accounts, nor will anyone stop the functionality of WhatsApp to lose. But we will send further reminders to the users in the next few weeks.
Specifically, this means users who have not yet agreed to the terms and conditions, even after May 15th can continue to use the app to its full extent. However, you will get reminders that indicate the need for consent.
Whatsapp has not defined the new grace period. So we don’t know how long the ministry will want to maintain this state. In the end, the general terms and conditions approval should still be enforced – just not next Saturday.
It is conceivable that the renewed extension will have to do with it has that the Hamburg data protection officer Johannes Caspar got involved in the process in April. His criticism: “The Whatsapp provisions contain extensive passages with which the service grants itself the right to share user data with other Facebook companies.”
Facebook’s data protection guideline also provides for general cross-company use and evaluation of data from affiliated companies, according to Caspers. He feared that the new provisions would create additional opportunities for data exchange for marketing purposes and direct mail. Whatsapp reacted stereotypically: It was a “misunderstanding”, according to a speaker
You have to do that now: nothing
If you have not yet agreed to the new Whatsapp terms and conditions, there is no rush. You can take your time to see how the service will proceed. You will possibly receive in-app notifications and the service will also use the status area to convey the message that you should now agree to soon.
The new terms and conditions are relatively unproblematic for Whatsapp users who do not use any of the other Facebook services. Because where there is no Facebook account, for example, it cannot be linked to data from WhatsApp. Whatsapp also promises all those with corresponding additional accounts not to create this link between Whatsapp and Facebook.
Facebook has not explicitly commented on Instagram . The data protection guideline that Caspers mentioned is clear in itself and would allow company-wide data exchange. Outside the EU, this data transfer from Whatsapp to Facebook has been happening since 2016.
With everything understandable Mistrust is at least certain that the content of your chats will not be used for any purpose whatsoever. Because Whatsapp cannot see them. They are end-to-end encrypted and can therefore only be read on the device with which you have registered with Whatsapp.
That’s why Whatsapp wants the change so urgently
Ultimately, Whatsapp probably wants to secure the opportunity to further develop the service. The establishment of contact to and through companies, which are essentially the subject of the current general terms and conditions change, opens up primarily monetary perspectives.
That’s where it is It is important to know that the exchange of messages with companies is different from that with family or friends. “When you communicate with a company via phone, email or Whatsapp, they can use the information from these interactions with you for their own marketing purposes. This can also include advertising on Facebook, ”it said in an explanation. So these messages are obviously either r is not even encrypted or can be processed in another way by the recipient.
Later Whatsapp pay would certainly also be conceivable, i.e. a payment service within the chat app. Wechat, its largest competitor, which is almost exclusively popular in Asia, has been around for years and is well received there. In the future, Whatsapp could also develop a shopping and payment level in addition to the chat level. The fact that Facebook simply wants to incorporate the data of WhatsApp users can probably be regarded as out of the question. The plan is much bigger.
For users who still do not want to agree to the terms and conditions, the only thing left is to switch to another messenger. Whatsapp pushes the point of no return a little bit forward again and again. But that it will come at a point in time X can be considered absolutely certain. The possible future prospects for the service are too important.