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BDO warns against blindly agreeing to update WhatsApp

-said data leaks to the ‘wrong people’ are one of the risks
BDO has warned against persons updating applications such as WhatsApp without reviewing the terms and conditions of those applications since a very large percentage of the public’s private information, such as phone numbers, will be shared with Facebook by the end of September. Photo: Internet Source
Ryan Geluk, Director of Technology Risk at BDO. Photo: VINO/File
Ryan Geluk, Director of Technology Risk at BDO. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- From time to time WhatsApp users get a request for them to update their application for improved service, and many too busy to read the terms and conditions readily agree to these requests.

An audit firm in the Virgin Islands, BDO, however, has warned against persons updating applications such as WhatsApp without reviewing the terms and conditions of those applications since a very large percentage of the public’s private information, such as phone numbers, will be shared with Facebook by the end of September.

Ryan Geluk, Director of Technology Risk at BDO, through a press release and an interview with this news site, sought to inform the public of this latest development in the technological sphere, explaining that it is imperative that Virgin Islanders understand the risks involved such as data leaks to the “wrong people” when they agree to these terms and conditions.

All is not lost

But, according to Geluk,  all is not lost for those persons who have already agreed to sharing their private information, as the sharing feature in WhatsApp can be turned off.

To do so: go to WhatsApp, click on -settings, go to -account and go then -share my account, and you switch it off between now till September 26, 2016, and your information will not be shared.

According to him, the company felt it was necessary to inform the populace since information sharing is really a hot topic nowadays and when those companies change their terms and conditions people need to be more aware of what they are signing on to.

“When we did the research and the rationale for the sharing we quickly realise that personal information such as phone numbers that are being shared over WhatsApp is all of sudden going to be shared with Facebook. BDO does not condone nor do they condemn users to agree to sharing their information. However, they simply wish to remind everyone to be aware of agreeing to updated terms without reviewing them first.”

In 2014, when Facebook bought WhatsApp, users were promised that the information from the two would be kept separately.

Facebook is now saying that the data from WhatsApp users will be used to assist in helping targeted advertising seen by people on the social media giant-Facebook.

The updated terms of service agreement were sent to users on Thursday August 25, 2016.

According to the BBC, WhatsApp said sharing users' phone numbers with Facebook would help tackle spam and abuse, as well as offer people "better friend suggestions and more relevant ads".

Using the data, Facebook will be able to match people who have exchanged phone numbers, but have not added one another as "friends" on the social network. WhatsApp will also share information about when people last used the service, but said it would not share the contents of messages, which are encrypted.

7 Responses to “BDO warns against blindly agreeing to update WhatsApp”

  • Old news (30/08/2016, 12:24) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    I BEEEEEEEN telling people about these so called "social platforms!" Their main purpose is to invade our right to privacy disguised by "communication convenience!"
  • west (30/08/2016, 13:51) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    oh lord my business is out there
  • Anyone (30/08/2016, 14:09) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    the 'social media' perpetrated by these companies is really social disease. they are also a private sector version
    of what the cia and nsa do as government.
  • vi (30/08/2016, 16:11) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank u for the info, Ryan. I just turned mine off
  • rattie (30/08/2016, 16:29) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    I going back to pen and paper
  • pop up (30/08/2016, 21:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What'Sapp devil app
  • SMH (31/08/2016, 08:46) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Are we really safe when it comes to privacy of personal information? Think about it. Your information is everywhere in a lot of hands.


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