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WhatsApp scrambles as users in big Indian market fret over privacy

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WhatsApp scrambles as users in big Indian market fret over privacy
ReutersPublished January 14, 2021Updated about 3 hours ago
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A WhatsApp advertisement is seen on the front pages of newspapers at a stall in Mumbai, India, Jan 13, 2021. — Reuters

A WhatsApp advertisement is seen on the front pages of newspapers at a stall in Mumbai, India, Jan 13, 2021. — Reuters
WhatsApp is battling mistrust globally after it updated its privacy policy to let it share some user data with parent Facebook and other group firms, and the backlash risks thwarting its ambitions in its biggest market, India.
Though WhatsApp has yet to see mass uninstalls of its app in India, users concerned about privacy are increasingly downloading rival apps such as Signal and Telegram, research firms say, propelling them higher on the download charts and putting those apps ahead of their ubiquitous rival in India for the first time.
The reaction in India — where 400 million users exchange more messages on WhatsApp than anywhere in the world — has forced the messaging app to unleash an advertising blitz costing tens of millions of rupees this week in at least 10 English and Hindi newspapers.
“Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA,” WhatsApp said in one newspaper announcement.
It said its privacy policy update “does not affect the privacy of your messages with your friends and family in any way”. WhatsApp has also said that the changes to the privacy policy are only related to users’ interactions with businesses.
When asked for comment, WhatsApp referred Reuters to its published statements on privacy.
The media campaign — similar to one it ran two years ago when it was facing criticism in India for not doing enough to curb disinformation — underscores the severity of the crisis for the world’s most popular messaging platform.
Parent Facebook and WhatsApp have bet big on India and any user grumbling could dent their plans.
Last year, Facebook invested $5.7 billion in the digital unit of Indian oil-to-tech group Reliance — the social media giant’s biggest deal since its $22 billion buyout of WhatsApp in 2014.
A huge part of the India investment hinges on a WhatsApp and Reliance project to allow about 30 million mom-and-pop store owners to transact digitally.
While WhatsApp’s payment service, approved by India’s flagship payments processor late last year after two years of waiting, does not fall under the privacy policy update, any sizeable user shift to other messengers could mean losing out to well-entrenched rivals.
Concerns abound
Users around the world were alarmed when WhatsApp said on Jan 4 it reserved the right to share some user data including location and phone number, with Facebook and its units such as Instagram and Messenger.
Even as WhatsApp sought to calm fears and assure users that neither it nor Facebook would have access to their messages, calls, or call logs, the privacy policy update triggered a storm globally with Signal downloads swelling as people looked for alternative messengers.
Signal was the most downloaded free app in India on both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android outpacing WhatsApp, according to internet research firm Top10VPN.
Downloads of Signal in India jumped to 7,100,000 between Jan 5 and Jan 12, from about 15,000 days earlier, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower. Telegram downloads surged 40 per cent while WhatsApp downloads fell 30pc in the period.
Manish Khatri, a Mumbai based smartphone seller, said many of his customers were asking if WhatsApp could read their messages.
Indian startups have also been quick to react.
“Here in India WhatsApp/Facebook are abusing their monopoly and taking away millions of users’ privacy for granted,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, chief executive of Alibaba-backed fintech Paytm, said on Twitter.
“We should move on to @signalapp NOW. It is up to us to become victim or reject such moves.”
MobiKwik, another digital payments firm, had begun using WhatsApp for business communication but has decided to shift to Google and Signal, its boss said.
“I’m making myself unavailable on WhatsApp and I’ve advised senior executives to do the same,” MobiKwik CEO Bipin Preet Singh told Reuters.
WhatsApp’s payments system in India competes with the likes of Paytm and MobiKwik as well as Google Pay and Walmart’s PhonePe.


I think stop using whatsapp
 

terry5

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*واٹس ایپ کو الوداع اور Bip کا خیر مقدم*

واٹس ایپ کی جگہ Bip اپلیکیشن استعمال کریں ۔۔۔۔یہ ترکی کا پروڈکٹ ہے۔۔۔۔۔طیب اردگان نے اس کو ڈیولپ کرایا ہے۔۔۔۔۔۔۔باقی اپلیکیشنز تویہودیوں کے ہیں۔۔۔۔۔۔۔یہ مسلم ملک کا ایپ ہے۔۔۔۔۔۔ایک دن میں پانچ ملین سےزائدلوگ اس کو ڈاؤن لوڈ کر چکے ہیں۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ہمیں چاہیےکہ bip کا استعمال کریں۔۔۔۔۔۔کم ازکم مسلم ملک کے ایپ کو بڑھاوا ملے گا۔


I got this message just today but I think I’m going to go back to Nokia phone and group chat like the elders did :

8498259C-1726-4D80-860E-F74BFF291BDD.jpeg
 

HttpError

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Since FB acquired Whatsapp for 16 $Billion back in 2016, what is all this fuss about? it is pure business they invested $16 Billion and now the shareholders demand an ROI.

Remember: "If you are not paying for the product, you are the PRODUCT".
 

-blitzkrieg-

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Since FB acquired Whatsapp for 16 $Billion back in 2016, what is all this fuss about? it is pure business they invested $16 Billion and now the shareholders demand an ROI.

Remember: "If you are not paying for the product, you are the PRODUCT".
The fuss might not be there on your personal level. But on national level you are giving away too much info of you citizens that may be used against you and the national interests of a nation.. Govt. needs to invest in its own infrastructure. There is no alternative to self sufficiency in cyber space. There is an alternative to everything.. email, social media , drives, maps. Capital can be earned by ads .We control what products we market to our citizens.. Lets change the owner of the PRODUCT.
 

HttpError

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The fuss might not be there on your personal level. But on national level you are giving away too much info of you citizens that may be used against you and the national interests of a nation.. Govt. needs to invest in its own infrastructure. There is no alternative to self sufficiency in cyber space. There is an alternative to everything.. email, social media , drives, maps. Capital can be earned by ads .We control what products we market to our citizens.. Lets change the owner of the PRODUCT.
For that countries have to be economically strong to dictate their terms. For instance, these new privacy policy rules will not be applicable to 27 nations (Europe). Certainly, there are and will be alternatives available but for that, you (country) have to be progressive. Witnessing the current state of affairs I don't think so Whatsapp would even consider if Pakistanis switch to Signal, Telegram, or any other app. While this may not be true for India.
 

Thorough Pro

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Indians concerned about their privacy...


SVoAs7n_d.jpg



WhatsApp scrambles as users in big Indian market fret over privacy
ReutersPublished January 14, 2021Updated about 3 hours ago
Facebook Count
Twitter Share

21
A WhatsApp advertisement is seen on the front pages of newspapers at a stall in Mumbai, India, Jan 13, 2021. — Reuters

A WhatsApp advertisement is seen on the front pages of newspapers at a stall in Mumbai, India, Jan 13, 2021. — Reuters
WhatsApp is battling mistrust globally after it updated its privacy policy to let it share some user data with parent Facebook and other group firms, and the backlash risks thwarting its ambitions in its biggest market, India.
Though WhatsApp has yet to see mass uninstalls of its app in India, users concerned about privacy are increasingly downloading rival apps such as Signal and Telegram, research firms say, propelling them higher on the download charts and putting those apps ahead of their ubiquitous rival in India for the first time.
The reaction in India — where 400 million users exchange more messages on WhatsApp than anywhere in the world — has forced the messaging app to unleash an advertising blitz costing tens of millions of rupees this week in at least 10 English and Hindi newspapers.
“Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA,” WhatsApp said in one newspaper announcement.
It said its privacy policy update “does not affect the privacy of your messages with your friends and family in any way”. WhatsApp has also said that the changes to the privacy policy are only related to users’ interactions with businesses.
When asked for comment, WhatsApp referred Reuters to its published statements on privacy.
The media campaign — similar to one it ran two years ago when it was facing criticism in India for not doing enough to curb disinformation — underscores the severity of the crisis for the world’s most popular messaging platform.
Parent Facebook and WhatsApp have bet big on India and any user grumbling could dent their plans.
Last year, Facebook invested $5.7 billion in the digital unit of Indian oil-to-tech group Reliance — the social media giant’s biggest deal since its $22 billion buyout of WhatsApp in 2014.
A huge part of the India investment hinges on a WhatsApp and Reliance project to allow about 30 million mom-and-pop store owners to transact digitally.
While WhatsApp’s payment service, approved by India’s flagship payments processor late last year after two years of waiting, does not fall under the privacy policy update, any sizeable user shift to other messengers could mean losing out to well-entrenched rivals.
Concerns abound
Users around the world were alarmed when WhatsApp said on Jan 4 it reserved the right to share some user data including location and phone number, with Facebook and its units such as Instagram and Messenger.
Even as WhatsApp sought to calm fears and assure users that neither it nor Facebook would have access to their messages, calls, or call logs, the privacy policy update triggered a storm globally with Signal downloads swelling as people looked for alternative messengers.
Signal was the most downloaded free app in India on both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android outpacing WhatsApp, according to internet research firm Top10VPN.
Downloads of Signal in India jumped to 7,100,000 between Jan 5 and Jan 12, from about 15,000 days earlier, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower. Telegram downloads surged 40 per cent while WhatsApp downloads fell 30pc in the period.
Manish Khatri, a Mumbai based smartphone seller, said many of his customers were asking if WhatsApp could read their messages.
Indian startups have also been quick to react.
“Here in India WhatsApp/Facebook are abusing their monopoly and taking away millions of users’ privacy for granted,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, chief executive of Alibaba-backed fintech Paytm, said on Twitter.
“We should move on to @signalapp NOW. It is up to us to become victim or reject such moves.”
MobiKwik, another digital payments firm, had begun using WhatsApp for business communication but has decided to shift to Google and Signal, its boss said.
“I’m making myself unavailable on WhatsApp and I’ve advised senior executives to do the same,” MobiKwik CEO Bipin Preet Singh told Reuters.
WhatsApp’s payments system in India competes with the likes of Paytm and MobiKwik as well as Google Pay and Walmart’s PhonePe.


I think stop using whatsapp
 

Reichsmarschall

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