Hilji, who is also director of digital rights organization Bolo Bhi, said conversations between consumers “remain encrypted”. However, he stated that WhatsApp would now provide “certain information” to Facebook’s parent company.
According to Khilji, WhatsApp can now share user status, smartphone details, internet and phone numbers, and IP addresses used by an account. “They will use this information to guide you through Facebook ads,” said director Bolo Bhi.
What steps can be taken to ensure confidentiality?
Initially, Khilji urged users to provide as little information as possible through the platform. “Try not to pay too much attention to WhatsApp status. If you want to protect your identity, don’t put your photos on WhatsApp, ”said the digital rights activist.
For users who want to stay private, Khilji advises against entering their real names into the app and using nicknames. He believed that this way the intelligence services would have the “least amount of information” on users.
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“You should also know that WhatsApp and Facebook can see which groups you belong to and who are still members,” Hilji said, adding that the company could not see the information in the chats.
Director Bolo Bhi warned that if someone uses a WhatsApp for Business account, “the information may be displayed to third parties other than companies and users.”
The hosts also asked Khilji about the prospect of the government developing their WhatsApp-like platform.
To which, Hilji, whoever builds the platform at the end of the day, replies, “The information will go to business and government.” He added that they would use this data to their advantage.
“Whichever company gets our data, they use it for themselves as often as possible, sell it, or use it for surveillance when it comes to government matters,” Hilji said.