WhatsApp New Privacy Policy

Whatsapp Privacy

Those who use WhatsApp for instant messaging should be aware that the service has recently announced some changes to its terms and conditions. The new WhatsApp privacy policy for 2021 details which personal information the app collects from users. It also specifies how that data can be used or shared by WhatsApp.

It is common for apps like WhatsApp to change their privacy policy from time to time. Usually, these changes are met with little to no resistance. In the case of the 2021 WhatsApp privacy policy, users expressed concern over the sweeping permissions it gave to Facebook in regards to messages. Many people were quick to delete the app, and Facebook delayed the integration of the new measures until May 2021.

Here’s an effort to help you understand the new WhatsApp privacy policy and how it can affect your use of WhatsApp.

The New Privacy Policy Does Not Target Personal WhatsApp Messages

WhatsApp is owned by Facebook. When the company announced the changes to its privacy policy, some users were concerned that Facebook would now have access to its personal messages. Many people started to use Signal and Telegram after the announcement. It probably didn’t help that Elon Musk started to tweet that there were better alternatives for messaging than WhatsApp.

The backlash from users prompted Facebook to delay the changes to the policy for a few months. This appears to have been an effort at damage control by the social media giant. Facebook was quick to make clear that the new policy did not change privacy settings for personal messages. Those messages will still benefit from WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption.

Messages to and from businesses, however, are included in the new policy. Basically, the new 2021 WhatsApp privacy policy requires users to accept that business messages may be collected and used for marketing purposes. There will be associated information stored on Facebook’s servers.

This is a potential concern for anyone that wants more control of their own Internet security and privacy.

What Will Happen If You Don’t Accept the WhatsApp 2021 Privacy Policy?

It is still possible for users of WhatsApp to choose whether or not they will accept the new privacy policy. They can even continue using the app if they don’t, but their usage will be restricted over time.

WhatsApp will first prompt users to accept the agreement. The ability to send messages from the app will also be restricted. Finally, the refusal of the new privacy policy will lead to the app being disabled for users after 120 days. At that point, the user’s account will be deleted.

Is It Still Safe to Use WhatsApp?

If you are only using WhatsApp to send personal messages, Facebook claims that its service is still encrypted from end-to-end. As such, Facebook wants you to know that WhatsApp is completely safe to use. But is this really true? There have been stories from time to time which appear to cast doubt on the use of the app for truly secure messaging.

What we can say for sure is that your messages with any businesses are not protected. Some would argue that this step will only lead to greater permissions in the future. At best, you should use WhatsApp with diligence and caution.

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New Whatsapp Calling Feature Blocked in the UAE

The excitement over the Whatsapp calling feature available now to all Android users of the popular app and soon to be made available for the iOS didn’t last long in the UAE. Etisalat and Du Telecom, the UAE’s primary service providers, have recently announced that the voice calling feature introduced by Whatsapp is blocked in the Emirates.

The popularity of Whatsapp

Whatsapp has found increasing popularity as an app that allows mobile users to message each other without paying for SMS. It is available for the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and Windows Phone.

Users of the app can message each other, even across different platforms, send pictures and videos, and even create groups chats. Because the app uses the same Internet data plan that mobile users have for email and web browsing, there is no additional charge for using Whatsapp and messages sent with the app are not regarded as SMS.

In order to compete with Skype and similar services, Whatsapp recently introduced its own VoIP voice calling feature that allows users to speak in real time just like making a normal phone call. While initially available on the Android version of the app, Whatsapp plans to make the feature available for the iOS very soon.

The UAE responds quickly to Whatsapp voice calling feature

The major telecom providers in the UAE were quick to respond to the new voice calling feature introduced by Whatsapp and took measures to block it. The use of VoIP call services in the UAE is illegal. Telecom operators are obligated to scramble the services offered by Skype, BBM Voice, Viber, and similar apps. It was anticipated that telecom operators would swiftly drop the hammer on the Whatsapp voice calling feature.

The biggest objection to the use of VoIP services in the UAE seems to be an economical one. The availability of free voice calling to users of Whatsapp and Skype would put a serious dent in the revenues generated by the UAE’s telecom giants. The CEO of Du Telecom recently addressed this aspect in an interview. Osman Sultan stated that Skype in itself is not blocked for PC-to-PC chats and that the telecom providers know UAE residents use it, but that voice calls with Skype are not permitted because the telecom providers must “protect their own huge investments made in providing call services to residents.” This same philosophy led to the blocking of the Whatsapp voice calling feature. more here.

At the present time the feature is unavailable to Du’s mobile customers, although the company has confirmed that the feature is still functioning on some Wi-Fi networks. Etisalat did not offer a comment, but the older of the two companies also functions under the current UAE telecom regulations and is bound by law to restrict the feature.

Sultan went on to say that Du Telecom is looking for ways to implement VoIP services in a way that economically benefits the telecom companies. This seems to be somewhat contradictory to the overall purpose of VoIP services.

How Do I unblock Whatsapp in the United Arab Emirates?

You can unblock whatsapp voip feature in UAE and to do that you need to sign up for a vpn service here.  When connected to the VPN, whatsapp will work normally and you will have the calling feature. How cool is that?

3 Steps to use VPN

01

Sign upBuy an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

Get a VPN Account

Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security. Purchase your VPN today!