Blogs-2021

ONLINE PRIVACY: A MYTH OR PROMISE?

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The tech giant Whatsapp recently updated its privacy policy in January this year. It demanded the users to accept the policy if they want to continue using the app to connect with people. It is already known that Whatsapp has been sharing user information long since with Facebook, its parent company. However, it’s for the first time that it openly accepted to share information so as to improve the user experience. There’s been a lot of misinformation and rumors that cause concern in users about the update. And later Whatsapp clarified all the confusions regarding this. They shared a blog on this and it includes that “Whatsapp or Facebook will not be able to acquire information from personal chats. Personal chats will be end-to-end encrypted and will always be. Records of messages or calls will not be stored. User location will not be saved. WhatsApp does not share a user’s contacts with Facebook, or any other company.”

Whatsapp claims that the information they share with Facebook or other companies includes account registration information, transaction data, service-related information, mobile device information, IP address, etc. That is the recent update is mainly meant for business chat. Nothing changes in the case of personal chats. However, if you’re having a business conversation then you would possibly begin seeing connected ads on Facebook or Instagram. Whatsapp assures all of its users that conversations are encrypted, and neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see discussions in groups as well. If the updated privacy policy is not accepted then the user will lose access to his account.

Even if Whatsapp claims that “user privacy is protected”, online privacy is still a myth. Once we get involved in these social media networks, there is no retreat. Everything we do online can be collected and can be used to track and monitor our activity. Primarily these companies use our data to enhance the user experience by serving us personalized content. We tend to continue sitting in front of the screen watching things that we are intrigued by. So they analyze our data, our search history, and other information to serve us the best content. Considering it in this manner at that point it is ideal that we would now be able to see just things we like to. Also, it will consequently appear before us easily.

In any case, the concern is that they are utilizing our information to do all these. We may think that they simply use it for our benefit. Yet, privacy is something that everyone has the right to. Whenever we download an app or visit a website the companies track our data and use it to get a clear image of us. They sell this data to different marketing companies to sell their products which we may be interested in or not. Think about a circumstance when these organizations abuse our information for raising an enormous ruckus. Indeed, social media can serve us what they like and make us consider things in the manner in which they need us to. That is people usually utilize web-based media rather than paper to be aware of what occurred in the neighborhood or globally since they present it in a more engaging way that entices us. Now that if people are fed with just what they need us to know, we will be stuck inside our air pocket of information even without a small loop of exit into reality.

As I already mentioned, once we become part of the online sphere there is no turning back. As of now they already have most of our personal data like our contacts, location, and many more. The only thing we can do is to go along with the trend till they are not abusing our data. And let’s hope they will not.

Sarayu SureshRIT KOTTAYAM

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