Also, the Policy envisaged that WhatsApp will provide integrations that enable users to connect WhatsApp experiences with other Facebook products. For example, allowing users to connect their Facebook Pay account to pay for things on WhatsApp or enabling users to chat with friends by connecting their WhatsApp accounts to Facebook. Additionally, the Policy envisages that WhatsApp will not retain users’ messages in the ordinary course of providing services to users but these messages are stored on such a user’s phone. However, it should be noted that undelivered messages are saved on WhatsApp’s servers and deleted 30 days after if it does not deliver. The most endearing reality that greeted the digital community with the Policy was that if users did not accept the new changes, they will lose access to WhatsApp services.
WhatsApp originally indicated in February 2021 that anyone who declined the updates would immediately lose functionality. There were insinuations that the update had to do with the commercialization and the unethical use of consumer chats or profile data; however, the Company has since pacified the digital community with clarifications, since there were threats by the digital community to abandon WhatsApp rather than trade their privacy. More so, WhatsApp had noted that the change is designed to outline how businesses who use WhatsApp for customer service may store logs of its chats on Facebook servers. The deadline for the acceptance of the update was eventually moved to May 15, 2021.
Ultimately, NITDA urges Nigerians to note that there are other available platforms that they may utilise. The agency has advised Nigerians that while choosing platforms, they should consider data sharing practices, privacy, ease of use among others; and limit the sharing of sensitive personal information on private messaging and social media platforms as the initial promise of privacy and security is now being overridden on the bases of business exigency.
This article was authored by Adedoyin Fadare, an Associate at Alliance Law Firm.