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WhatsApp information sharing – A Threat to Users’ Privacy

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WhatsApp Logo. Image source: Whatsapp.com
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– by Amit Srivastava

Sept 09, 2016: In absence of proper privacy laws for social media and e-commerce companies and complicated prosecution process, big MNCs are taking full leverage of situation to gather, share and market the Indian users’ personal details. Google and Facebook are leading companies involved in manipulation of users’ information.

Recently, it was announced that popular messenger WhatsApp will share information with the Facebook. This has caused an uproar in many countries as it is a direct breach of privacy. On this potential violation, US Federal Trade Commission is reviewing a joint complaint from two consumer privacy groups. European Union regulators have also affirmed that indicated European users need to remain in charge of their personal data.

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In India, such privacy breach generally goes unchallenged. However, in a rare instance, the matter has been contested in Delhi high court by two users Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi. On their petition against WhatsApp’s recent decision to share user data with parent company Facebook, Delhi High Court has sought the government’s response regarding the modification. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra has issued a notice to the Centre and asked the concerned authorities to file their reply by September 14.

Hence it is suggested to every Indian user must opt out of personal information sharing. In India also, Facebook has shared user’s information of Whatsapp with Facebook, without any prior intimation. To avoid this imposed privacy breach, follow these steps:

(i) Go to Whatsapp Settings
(ii) Click on Accounts
(iii) Uncheck “share my account info”

Every WhatsApp users must do it now. Else your personal chat, photos, and videos could be shared with Facebook. Please Alert and inform others about this.
Existing WhatsApp users have time until September 25, 2016, to click through this update and agree or not agree to Facebook using their WhatsApp data to suggest friends and serve ads.

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After this particular date, the company might automatically share the users’ details with Facebook.  Hope, we will have appropriate privacy laws soon to tame top violators like Google and Facebook. Till then, be vigilant about your online privacy.

This abrupt policy change is made, as Facebook eyes to make more profit and this is so because Whatsapp is a more personalised form of staying connected to people. The information, content and the activities of every user are added in ‘Big Data’ of the company. They use this Big Data to earn advertisements, market surveys, consumers profiling and others profit making exchanges. With his change, the arena of Social Media has become more vulnerable and insecure. We need to be extra cautious while putting any personal details even on personal messaging platforms like WhatsApp!     

– Amit is a Freelancer based in India. Twitter: @amisri

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YouTube videos can now be watched on WhatsApp messenger

WhatsApp launched a new feature which will allow you to watch YouTube videos in the messenger itself

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YouTube videos can now be watched in the WhatsApp messenger itself. Pixabay
YouTube videos can now be watched in the WhatsApp messenger itself. Pixabay
  • WhatsApp launched a new feature for iOS users
  • iOS users can watch YouTube videos on WhatsApp messenger
  • The feature requires a WhatsApp update to version 2.18.11

We all wished that we could watch YouTube videos while chatting on WhatsApp. Our wish has come true! WhatsApp has finally come up with a new feature for iOS users where they can play YouTube videos right within the WhatsApp messenger.

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All you need to do is update your WhatsApp version to the 2.18.11 update on Apple App Store, that brings bug fixes and general improvements, in order to remotely receive the activation of this feature.

This new feature is for iOS user only, it is yet to be launched for android. Pixabay
This new feature is for iOS user only, it is yet to be launched for Android. Pixabay

Once WhatsApp is updated, you will be able to watch YouTube videos whenever someone sends you a YouTube link. You no longer will have to move out of the WhatsApp messenger to watch it.

To view a YouTube video on WhatsApp, users simply have to share or receive the URL in a chat and they will see the play button in a bubble.

ALSO READ: What is the ‘demote’ feature of WhatsApp?

Earlier, when users clicked on the link, the YouTube video would open in YouTube app installed on the smartphones.

To use this feature you need to update your WhatsApp version to 2.18.11. Pixabay
To use this feature you need to update your WhatsApp version to 2.18.11. Pixabay

“Fortunately, WhatsApp has worked to allow videos not to be stopped when the user changes the chat,” WABetaInfo said.

The update is yet to come to Android and Windows users.

WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India and 1.2 billion users worldwide. (IANS)