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What will they collect?
One question that naturally arises is what type of data WhatsApp seeks. With its feature of end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp messages will not be shared with Facebook when WhatsApp itself cannot read them. It will collect the users’ metadata. Metadata is data about data. So even though it can’t read your messages it can share the information on who you message, how often you do, your time, and the location of chatting.
Metadata also contains information like one’s data usage, location of sender and receiver, contact details, and much more. In 2016, researchers at Stanford University collected and analysed the metadata of telephonic users. With that data, they were able to draw perfect conclusions about one’s personal data, including health details. With metadata, government authority or private players could carry out covert surveillance and tailor-make their advertising and marketing.
Currently, WhatsApp provides no alternative to its Terms of Service. If you can’t find a pop-up on your WhatsApp, then chances are you have already agreed to it by clicking the Accept option.
But if you haven’t accepted the ToS, then you will be able to see the pop-up repeatedly. Over time, WhatsApp will increase its frequency until you finally accept it. If you still persist, then WhatsApp will slowly take away key functions from its app and you will end up with a degraded version of the app.
WhatsApp claims that it will not delete your account right away but the users who do not accept can face “limited functionality.” The app would limit your ability to access your chat list and later restrictions will be placed on your incoming voice and video calls. After few weeks, it would disable your WhatsApp notifications, calls and even messages. After 120 days of “inactivity,” WhatsApp could even delete your account.
This leaves the users with only two options. Either accept and give WhatsApp the permission to use your data as it wants or altogether give up your ability to use WhatsApp.
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Personal Data Protection Bill