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അക്കൗണ്ട് നഷ്ടപ്പെടാതിരിക്കാന്‍ വാട്സ്ആപ്പിന്റെ പുതിയ നിബന്ധനകള്‍ അംഗീകരിക്കണം

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2021 ഫെബ്രുവരി എട്ട് മുതല്‍ വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് സേവന നിബന്ധനകള്‍ പുതുക്കുമെന്ന് റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ട്. എല്ലാ ഉപയോക്താക്കളും ആപ്ലിക്കേഷനില്‍ നിന്ന് തുടര്‍ സേവനങ്ങള്‍ ലഭിക്കാന്‍ ആഗ്രഹിക്കുന്നുവെങ്കില്‍ ഈ പുതിയ നിബന്ധനകള്‍ ”അംഗീകരിയ്ക്കണം”. പുതിയ വ്യവസ്ഥകള്‍ അംഗീകരിച്ചില്ലെങ്കില്‍ ഉപയോക്താക്കള്‍ക്ക് പിന്നീട് വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് ഉപയോഗിക്കാന്‍ സാധിക്കില്ല എന്നാണ് വാബീറ്റ ഇന്‍ഫോ വെബ്സൈറ്റ് റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ട് ചെയ്യുന്നത്.

വാട്ട്സ്ആപ്പ് അവസാനമായി അതിന്റെ സേവന വ്യവസ്ഥകള്‍ 2018ലാണ് അപ്ഡേറ്റു ചെയ്തത്. വാട്സ്ആപ്പ് തുടര്‍ന്ന് ഉപയോഗിക്കണമെങ്കില്‍ ഉപയോക്താക്കള്‍ പുതിയ വ്യവസ്ഥകള്‍ അംഗീകരിക്കണ മെന്നും അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ അക്കൗണ്ട് ഡിലീറ്റ് ചെയ്യാമെന്നും പറയുന്ന പ്രൈവസി പോളിസി അപ്ഡേറ്റ് നോട്ടിഫിക്കേഷന്റെ സ്‌ക്രീന്‍ഷോട്ട് വാബീറ്റ ഇന്‍ഫോ പങ്കുവെച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്.

പുതിയ സ്വകാര്യതാ നയത്തില്‍ വാട്ട്സ്ആപ്പിന്റെ സേവനത്തെക്കുറിച്ചുള്ള വിവരങ്ങളും എല്ലാ ഉപഭോക്താക്കളുടെയും വിവരങ്ങള്‍ ഏതെല്ലാം തരത്തില്‍ ഉപയോഗിക്കപ്പെടുമെന്നും പറയുന്നു. വാട്സാപ്പ് ചാറ്റുകള്‍ കൈകാര്യം ചെയ്യാനും ശേഖരിക്കാനും വാണിജ്യ സ്ഥാപനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് ഫെയ്സ്ബുക്കിന്റെ സേവനങ്ങള്‍ എങ്ങനെ ഉപയോഗിക്കാം എന്നിവയൊക്കെയാണ് പുതിയ പ്രൈവസി അപ്ഡേറ്റിലുള്ളത്. ഈ പുതിയ അറിയിപ്പ് ചാറ്റിന്റെ രൂപത്തില്‍ ഉപഭോക്താക്കളിലേക്ക് അയയ്ക്കില്ല. എന്നാല്‍, ഇത് അപ്ലിക്കേഷനിലെ ബാനര്‍ രൂപത്തില്‍ കാണിക്കും. ഇന്‍ ആപ്പ് ബാനര്‍ സംവിധാനം അടുത്തിടെയാണ് വാട്സാപ്പില്‍ ഉള്‍പ്പെടുത്തിയത്.

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WhatsApp issues clarification; says policy update doesn’t affect privacy of messages

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Facing flak over its new privacy policy and terms of service, WhatsApp on Tuesday sought to assuage users’ concerns saying its latest policy update does not affect the privacy of messages on the platform. In a blogpost, Facebook-owned WhatsApp emphasised that it does not share users’ contact lists or data of groups with Facebook for advertisement purposes. Last week, WhatsApp had informed users of an update in its terms of service and privacy policy regarding how it processes user data and partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the social media giant’s products.

It also stated that users will have to agree to the new terms and policy by February 8, 2021, in order to continue using WhatsApp. This kickstarted a spate of conversations as well as memes on the internet over WhatsApp’s alleged sharing of user information with Facebook. Many users have also started shifting to rival platforms like Telegram and Signal.

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data,” WhatsApp said.

It added that WhatsApp accesses only the phone numbers from the address book (after getting user’s permission) to make messaging fast and reliable, and that it does not share contact lists with the other Facebook apps.

“We use group membership to deliver messages and to protect our service from spam and abuse. We don’t share this data with Facebook for ads purposes. Again, these private chats are end-to-end encrypted so we can’t see their content,” it noted.

Meanwhile, a report by internet security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia has claimed that at least 1,700 private WhatsApp group links were visible on Google through a web search. WhatsApp noted that users can choose to set their messages to disappear from chats “for additional privacy”. Sajai Singh, Partner at J Sagar Associates, said only a very small percentage of WhatsApp’s 400 million users in India are likely to discontinue using the service because of these changes.

“All messaging apps are competing for the same consumer, and, therefore, privacy and security would be the last things any would compromise on… Also, till India doesn’t promulgate a data protection law, like the EU, it will not effectively be able to control the movement of data from the country…,” Singh said.

He also suggested that individuals for whom security and privacy are still of concern, should away from free apps and using paid applications like Threema.

Interestingly, a LocalCircles poll (of about 9,000 people) found 26 percent respondents saying they will drastically reduce WhatsApp usage and start using other platforms. Around 15 percent said they will stop using WhatsApp completely and 10 percent said they will reduce WhatsApp usage and start using e-mail and SMS more. WhatsApp, in its blog, said it will always be clear within the app when users are communicating with any business that uses its features designed for commercial entities.

WhatsApp explained that some large businesses need to use hosting services to manage their communication, and that it provides them the option to use secure hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions and send information like purchase receipts.

“To make sure you’re informed, we clearly label conversations with businesses that are choosing to use hosting services from Facebook,” WhatsApp added. WhatsApp said if users choose to interact with ‘Shops’ (Facebook-branded commerce feature), their shopping activity can be used to personalise their Shops experience and the ads users see on Facebook and Instagram. “Features like this are optional and when you use them we will tell you in the app how your data is being shared with Facebook… If you have WhatsApp installed on your phone, you’ll have the option to message that business.

Facebook may use the way you interact with these ads to personalise the ads you see on Facebook,” it added. A number of business leaders including Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and PhonePe CEO Sameer Nigam have spoken of moving to rival platforms. Mahindra said he had installed Signal, while Nigam said he had moved 1,000-plus ‘PhonePe-rs’ to Signal, besides recreating all his work groups and moving family groups.

“…WhatsApp is by far and away the best product I’ve ever seen in the social/comm category. I trusted the WA founders. I loved the simplicity of their product. Never imagined switching to another chat app. C’est la vie,” Nigam tweeted.

Sharma also advocated moving to Signal. “They say, market has power. We are the largest market. Here in India WhatsApp/Facebook are abusing their monopoly & taking away millions of users’ privacy for granted. We should move on to @signalapp NOW. It is upto us to become victim or reject such moves,” he said in a tweet.
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Twitter permanently suspends President Donald Trump’s account

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Washington — Twitter said Friday it has permanently suspended the personal account of President Donald Trump, saying two tweets he posted Friday morning were appearing to rile up his supporters on social media two days after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter posted Friday.

‘Due to the risk of further incitement of violence,’ Twitter said it has suspended President Trump’s personal account.

Twitter said two tweets the president sent on Friday were the final straw — not because of any over-the-top language, but because of how they were being perceived on social media.

“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” Trump Tweeted Friday morning.

A short time later, he tweeted, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

Twitter said the the announcement Trump would not attend the inauguration was being seen on social media as him not accepting the election results — something he has falsely claimed for two months since the election. It could also be seen as a signal for those considering violent acts that it was a “safe” target because Trump would not be there,” the platform said.

Twitter also said the term “American Patriots” to describe some of his supporters was being interpreted on social media as support for those involved in Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol in which Trump supporters stormed the building during a joint session of Congress to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

“Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021,” Twitter wrote.

“As such, our determination is that the two Tweets above are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so.”

The social media platform has been under growing pressure to take further action against Trump following Wednesday’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead. Twitter initially suspended Trump’s account for 12 hours after he posted a video that repeated false claims about election fraud and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol. But Trump was warned that future violations to its policies could mean a permanent ban.

“In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action,” Twitter said Friday.

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