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WhatsApp asked not to share data with Facebook

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Whatsapp and Telegram
A WhatsApp logo is seen behind a smartphone, Feb. 20, 2014. Authorities in Afghanistan are temporarily blocking WhatsApp and Telegram social media services in the country. VOA
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France’s privacy watchdog has issued a formal notice to WhatsApp, asking the popular mobile messaging app to stop sharing user data with the parent company Facebook within a month. The Chair of the National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) had asked WhatsApp to provide a sample of the French users’ data transferred to Facebook.

“The company explained that it could not supply the sample requested by the CNIL since it is located in the US, it considers that it is only subject to the legislation of this (US) country,” CNIL posted on its website late on Monday. “As a result, the Chair of the CNIL decided to issue a formal notice to the company WhatsApp to comply with the Data Protection Act within one month,” it added.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014. On August 25, 2016, WhatsApp released a new version of its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy where it explained that “from now on, its users’ data are transferred to Facebook for three purposes: targeted advertising, security and evaluation and improvement of services (business intelligence)”.

“While the security purpose seems to be essential to the efficient functioning of the application, it is not the case for the ‘business intelligence’ purpose which aims at improving performances and optimising the use of the application through the analysis of its users’ behaviour,” noted Chair of the CNIL.

Facebook data
The new guidelines may violate the security concerns of some nations

The watchdog considered that the data transfer for “business intelligence” purpose is not based on the legal basis required by the Data Protection Act for any processing. It then decided to send a formal public notice in order to ensure the highest level of transparency on the massive data transfer from WhatsApp to Facebook Inc. and, thus, to alert to the need for individuals concerned to keep their data under control.

This is not the first incident where WhatsApp-Facebook data sharing has been condemned. Germany has also ordered Facebook to stop collecting data from WhatsApp users. After repeated criticism, Facebook also agreed to stop collecting WhatsApp user data in the UK. IANS

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‘WhatsApp Business’ Now Available On Android In India

In India, 84 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers, and 80 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them grow their business

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"WhatsApp Business" was launched last week in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Britain and the US. Pixabay
  • WhatsApp Business, an Android app for small businesses, is now available in India
  • The app will make it easier for companies to connect with customers
  • It is yet to come on Apple App Store in India

To help businesses communicate better with their customers in India, WhatsApp has officially rolled out “WhatsApp Business” — a free-to-download Android app for small businesses — in the country.

The new app, available on Google Play Store, will make it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for its users to chat with businesses that matter to them.

"WhatsApp Business", yet to come on Apple App Store in India, asks for a separate phone number from the one users have for their individual WhatsApp account. VOA
“WhatsApp Business”, yet to come on Apple App Store in India, asks for a separate phone number from the one users have for their individual WhatsApp account. VOA

ALSO READ: YouTube videos can now be watched on WhatsApp messenger

“People all around the world use WhatsApp to connect with small businesses they care about from online clothing companies in India to auto parts stores in Brazil,” the Facebook-owned app had said in an earlier statement.

“WhatsApp Business will make it easier for people to connect with them, and vice versa, in a fast and simple way,” the company added.

“WhatsApp Business” was launched last week in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Britain and the US.

The app will help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses and website. Wikimedia Commons
The app will help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses and website. Wikimedia Commons

It will also save time with smart messaging tools — quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you’re busy.

“People will know that they’re talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number,” WhatsApp said.

ALSO READ: WhatsApp information sharing – A Threat to Users’ Privacy

People can continue using WhatsApp as usual as there’s no need to download anything new.

“People will continue to have full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam,” the company added.

In India, 84 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers, and 80 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them grow their business. (IANS)

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