End-to-end encrypted? What data is WhatsApp collecting anyway
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
But the real question 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 is yet to come out with a clarification, analysts are given 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," Prosanto K Roy, an independent technology expert, said.
However, two Delhi-based users challenged the WhatsApp's announcement in the high court, saying it severely compromises the rights of its users. Hearing their petitions, a bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini directed WhatsApp not to share any user data collected till September 25, 2016, with Facebook or any other related company.
"We are of the view that it is always open to the users of WhatsApp, who do not want their information to be shared with Facebook, to opt for deletion of their account," the court said.
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.
(With inputs from Soibam Rocky Singh)
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