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  • Sajda Jaward

Digital Friday>>>Meta has announced new privacy features for WhatsApp users

Picture Credit: Rachit Tank

Whatsapp is a platform for online chatting which is owned by Facebook, and has 1 billion users globally. It was a modest startup that swiftly expanded to 250,000 users after being founded in 2009 by former Yahoo employees.

They had to impose a yearly access fee due to this quick expansion and to decrease the rate of subscription. WhatsApp was purchased by Facebook in 2014 and has continued to expand, surpassing the 1 billion user milestone in July 2017.

According to BBC, Meta has unveiled new privacy measures for WhatsApp users. Users will get the option to select who can view their online status, leave group discussions in silence, and block screenshots on View Once messages.

According to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, this will maintain WhatsApp chat private and secure in face-to-face conversations. The features will start to be made available this month, and a global campaign to promote them will get launched in UK.

The well-known messaging software now notifies all participants in a group conversation when someone leaves or is deleted by default. Although there are ways to stop this for specific group chats, users are not given the opportunity to depart quietly when they select "Exit group," which can occasionally lead to awkwardness, embarrassment, or drama for those attempting to leave discreetly.

Only group moderators will be informed if they decide to leave the group chat before everyone else. Ami Vora, the head of the product, stated that it was done as part of the platform's emphasis on building product features that empower individuals to have more control and privacy over their messages.

No other large-scale worldwide messaging service offers this level of protection for the messages, media, voice messages, video calls, and chat backups of its customers. This will allow users to let only certain contacts or no one to know when they are active on the site, by aligning online status options with "Last seen" settings.

According to Janis Wong, research associate at the Alan Turing Institute, it's always good to give consumers more control as users prefer and need to have more power. The impact of the features might be minimal unless users are encouraged to use them or are made fully aware of them in the app. If users are unaware that this is an option, it's not necessarily and particularly useful.

Except the beneficial features, WhatsApp is more secure than other messaging apps due to end-to-end encryption, but no software can guarantee complete security. WhatsApp is frequently the target of malicious operators, similar to any other software or digital device. Your privacy and personal information are at danger because the software could access the personal contacts, and may keep track of where and how long you use it. Therefore, it is best to utilize it with the appropriate safety measures.

Picture Credit:Christian Wiediger

August 19th 2022| 07:30 AM

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