While a lot of people in today’s world are putting serious thoughts and rethinking about their privacy on the internet especially on Social Media sites, a blog in Israel made an unsettling announcement telling people that WhatsApp will be using Facebook servers from now on. The source of the news happens to be the popular WhatsApp news related blog called WABetaInfo. The blog assured their readers that the switch to the Facebook server was made just to improve connection quality for the users. The series of tweets which made the stir among Israeli fans started with the first tweet saying “All users from Israel are now connected to WhatsApp through the Facebook servers.”
A Twitter user replied to the above tweet “Encryption is not a problem. It’s just that metadata like last seen, online time, etc. which are dynamic and are not needed after a particular time, must be wiped from servers.” It was apparent that the followers of the blog were laden with worries about their privacy.
However, despite the growing concerns WABetaInfo pointed out that even though WhatsApp was using Facebook servers to relay its messaging services, the company will only be able to read the metadata of the messages which includes information like sender numbers, receiver numbers and date and time stamps.
WABetaInfo continued their series of tweets and said “This just ensures a better quality of the connection. All chats and calls are end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp/Facebook/anyone cannot read/listen them. Everything is encrypted, also Stickers,” Also, the they said that the users should wait till May to see what kind of data WhatsApp is storing and then check if privacy issues are coming up. The popular blog focused on the fact that WhatsApp had taken this step to improve connection quality and hasn’t got further motives.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is a new law in the European Union comes into effect on May 25, 2018. This new regulation will govern the terms of privacy being practised by tech companies in the European region.
To comply with this new rule regarding the privacy laws, WhatsApp signed a public commitment with Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) vouching not to share users’ personal data with Facebook until data protection concerns are addressed.
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham who had overlooked the formulation of the new law said in a statement that WhatsApp had assured that no UK user data has ever been shared with Facebook.