WhatsApp under fire

WhatsApp pushes privacy update to comply with Irish ruling

WhatsApp is taking the action after getting hit with a record 225 million euro ($267 million) fine in September from Ireland’s data privacy watchdog for violating stringent European Union data protection rules on transparency about sharing people’s data with other Facebook companies.

The chat service said it disagreed with the decision, but it has to comply by updating its policy while it appeals. The update doesn’t affect how data is handled, and users won’t have to agree to anything new or take any other action.

whatsapp application screenshot
Photo by Anton on Pexels.com

It’s hard to fathom that a company known for privacy transgressions continues to be used as a mainstream application. For long, it has been used in the NHS (even publications around it are getting mainstreamed). Privacy isn’t dead, but they are normalising behaviours with this constant onslaught. I’d set out a pessimistic tone around here – I won’t appreciate this behaviour change because the fine only made them change their privacy policy.

Here’s another blog post:

Chat control: The latest EU plans to outlaw encryption and introduce telecommunications surveillance | mailbox.org

In the autumn of 2021, it transpired that the EU Commission intends to make the previous “voluntary participation” in their surveillance measures mandatory. They also plan to widen the scope to include other serious offenses such as terrorism and violent crime. Until now, only those providers who already process customer data for purposes such as offering personalised ads were required to monitor communications for potential legal offences. The documents published by the EU parliament reveal plans that would force all providers to engage in the same activities. Those who currently cannot monitor the data are supposed to install suitable technology to make sure they can do so in the future and change their existing practices. Secure methods like end-to-end encryption that make sure only the sender and the receiver can read a message would be undermined. Telecommunications providers would be asked to actively prevent encryption, or search messages for targeted content before encryption takes place and would be required to give law enforcement authorities access to their data.

UK is pushing for “ban” on encrypted conversations, though there’s enough metadata around private chat conversations that are accurate enough. The question lingers – should Whatsapp be used in healthcare? My answer- No.

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