WhatsApp Privacy Policy Update Delay Won't Stop The Exodus To Telegram and Signal and Here Is Why

An update published on WhatsApp's blog pages on the 15th of January announced they are delaying the privacy policy update that has caused millions of people to seek alternatives to their messaging platform.
The blog starts like this:

"We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update. There's been a lot of misinformation causing concern, and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts.”
They also state that “This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.”

And therein lies the rub. It’s a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.
The bad publicity around this update is not really about the changes they are planning to make. The issue is that because the press and social media happened to pick up this update, it has drawn everyone’s attention to the fact that WhatsApp shares your personal data in ways they didn’t realise.

Security professionals have known this for a long time. They have long advised businesses to use different, more secure alternatives to WhatsApp to ensure communication remains private.
For WhatsApp, it is going to be difficult to walk back from this situation.

Their intention in delaying the policy rollout is to give time to educate users about the facts. I very much doubt you will hear much more from WhatsApp on this. If they actually took time to explain about this privacy update, the effect will be to highlight the lack of privacy that already exists even more.

WhatsApp has no desire to do this. Instead, it makes more sense for them to ride this out. A magnifying glass has been placed over the issue of how they handle our data. For WhatsApp, it’s better not to intensify the spotlight and hope we all go to sleep again on this issue.  My hunch is this delay will really mean the policy updates will occur at a much slower roll out so as not to spark media interest again.

People are moving to Telegram, Signal and not because WhatsApp announced this policy change but because it’s alerted them to what they signed up to in the first place.
Is there a difference? The list below was taken from an article published in Trak.In and shows you what data each of these three messaging platforms captures today. Judge for yourself!

WhatsApp Data Collection

  • Device ID
  • User ID
  • Advertising Data
  • Purchase History
  • Coarse Location
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Contacts
  • Product Interaction
  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data
  • Payment Info
  • Customer Support
  • Product Interaction
  • Other User Content

Telegram Data Collection

  • Contact Info
  • Contacts
  • User ID

Signal Data Collection

  • None
  • It only stores your phone number


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