Privacy concerns recently created a massive global wave of migration from the online messaging giant WhatsApp, reaching Lebanon and prompting many users to switch to alternatives.
One of those users is the singer Elissa, who announced in a brief tweet on Thursday her intent to leave WhatsApp and “move to another application.”
Although the Lebanese artist did not specify the reason behind her move in the tweet, it comes as millions of people worldwide ditch WhatsApp and move to smaller apps, most notably Signal and Telegram, to safeguard their privacy.
In Lebanon, there have been some calls by social media users, especially Reddit, to boycott the application due to the recent ultimatum WhatsApp presented to its users.
What Did WhatsApp Do?
If a user does not accept them by February 8th, 2021, he or she will no longer be able to use WhatsApp.
As to what it does, the update allows WhatsApp to share data collected from its users with Facebook and the companies owned by it, such as Instagram, regardless of whether or not a user has an account at those other applications.
WhatsApp says this is necessary to allow it to better integrate with other Facebook products.
“Every day, millions of people around the world communicate securely with businesses of all sizes on WhatsApp. We want to make this easier and better if you choose to message with businesses. We will always be clear within WhatsApp when you are communicating with any business that uses these features,” the company said in a statement following the update.
While these changes do not mean that Facebook – or WhatsApp, for that matter – can now see your private messages, store your call logs, or listen in on your calls, they did make many people uncomfortable due to the realization that their personal information can be stored and used by the Facebook network.
It’s also worth noting that this data-sharing policy is not entirely new. It has been practically active since 2016, but it was not mandatory for users to accept as it is today.