FG Warns Nigerians On Whatsapp New Privacy Rule

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The Federal Government has warned Nigerians to be wary of the new WhatsApp messenger privacy policy to avoid unpalatable consequences.

WhatsApp shared a reviewed privacy policy on January 4, informing users outside the European Union that it would now share their information with Facebook and its sister companies following the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook in 2014.

Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relation, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Hadiza Umar, in a statement, yesterday, said in a bid to understand the issues and address the growing concerns of Nigerians, NITDA in collaboration with African Network of Data Protection Authorities, confronted global policy officials of Facebook Incorporated, owners of WhatsApp platform, about the new privacy policy.

“The Facebook team confirmed that private messages shared on WhatsApp consumer version are encrypted and not seen by the company. But the metadata (data about the usage of the service) which is also personal information is shared with other members of the Facebook Group.”

She said as a result, Nigerians are advised to explore other available platforms with similar functionalities, but tighter privacy policies and security.

“They should 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. To improve compliance with the NDPR, we have also raised concerns as to the marked difference between the privacy standard applicable in Europe, under the GDPR and the rest of the world.”

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