End-to-end encrypted? What data WhatsApp is using?


As per the Delhi High court rule, WhatsApp cannot share its old user data with Facebook or any other platform. It has allowed the popular instant messaging app to roll out its new privacy policy on September 25.

The court’s order came on a petition challenging WhatsApp’s new Privacy policy in August that it would start sharing users’ account information such as phone number with parent company Facebook, marking a notable shift in its privacy policy.

But the real question rises is what data was the company planning to collect and in what way if all messages are end-to-end encrypted. More thought provoking is the argument that how is it supposed to help Facebook target better advertisements? Although WhatsApp has still not given any clarification, but if analysts are to believe that WhatsApp is more into profiling users rather than actually try and read what content people are sending.

“I think the confusion is in the fact that WhatsApp has not explained what kind of data it wants to collect which could range from anything like a phone number to a metadata. Simply put, metadata is a collection of data that presents a complete picture. In WhatsApp, metadata would mean something like the time, duration of usage, the kind of content shared and the amount of cellular or WiFi data used in a particular session,” said Prosanto K Roy, an independent technology expert.

It is important to note that all WhatsApp users in a group have to have the latest version of the app to make the group communication eligible for end-to-end-encryption.

Facebook acquired messaging app gave users a 30-day period to choose if they wanted to share
After the petition of two users in the High Court, challenging the WhatsApp’s new policy saying that it severely compromised the rights of its users. The court said WhatsApp must delete user data of anybody who chooses to opt out of the app before its new privacy policy kicks in and not to share user data collected till September 25, 2016 with Facebook or any other related company.

Also, the court directed the government to see if there is a need to bring instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp under the statutory regulatory framework.

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From ITvoir News Desk