WhatsApp’s New Privacy Update: Good Or Bad?

The new WhatsApp update is also known to be illegal in European Union as per the contradictions of the provisions under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The WhatsApp’s privacy policy update has taken over the internet with creating worry and fear in the minds of two billion users believing in a threat to their privacy and security. This clearly highlights and brings into focus the fact that educating consumers has and will continue to remain a bigger challenge.

While consumers are wondering if WhatsApp is going to share their private messages and looking for alternatives for the messaging app, it is important to know that the new WhatsApp privacy policy has numerous benefits and distinctions for private and business accounts.

Here's how WhatsApp’s new updates can be beneficial for your business: 

  • When interacting with a business account, WhatsApp can see and understand what you are chatting about, store that information of your customer dynamic and use that later on for improved Facebook advertising and targeting

  • Information collected through WhatsApp Shop Feature can help display relevant ads to the users on Facebook and Instagram based on the previous shopping activity and interests. WhatsApp says this feature is completely optional and that when you use it details of what data has been shared with Facebook will be delivered to you as an update taking into consideration by no means for your privacy to be tampered with

  • If a user finds an ad on Facebook with an open option to message via WhatsApp and then does so, it can show more relevant and lookalike ads on the social media platform thereby advancing Facebook’s targeting and advertising. 

From a digital standpoint, as a business owner or marketer the update is a boon as not only will it boost your targeting of advertisements but also bring the relevant audience awareness and lead to better and quick sales with better ROIs.      

Focusing on the data protection aspect of WhatsApp’s new update, users outside India have more control over data sharing and terms, while due to the lack of data protection law in India, the users in our country have zero control over data-sharing policies and terms. If any Indian user wishes to continue using WhatsApp services, they have to agree to all the data sharing terms and conditions mentioned/ highlighted by the app.

The new WhatsApp update is also known to be illegal in European Union as per the contradictions of the provisions under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is why WhatsApp is not allowed to share any data to Facebook. Since India lacks an administrative authority using, processing and storage of user’s personal data will always be chaotic and out of control until the Personal Data Protection Bill is approved as a law. 

While the new WhatsApp update is pro for all business users in micro-targeting and advancing sales, it can be used as an antisocial element to promote hate messages and polarization. This new update is indeed a wakeup call for India to better privacy policies and data protection laws in the times to come.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.