There have been rising concerns amongst many UAE residents surrounding their data privacy when using WhatsApp, reports ZAWYA
The recent concerns – which have been bought on as a result of the company’s decision to change their data policies for users – have prompted many to consider swapping to alternative messaging platforms.
The decision from the Facebook-owned application has left the door wide open for market competitors to pick up an influx of users, with Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, already convincing many of his Twitter followers to download Signal, an encrypted messaging application.
“Users are increasingly suspicious”
Yusuf Stapic, a Dubai resident, remarked: “People are waiting to see if WhatsApp might review and change its new update before the deadline. Also, many users are increasingly suspicious about Facebook and what it does with their data.
“Their misuse of data led to them being under increased scrutiny and having to appear before the US Congress, and people haven’t forgotten about that.”
Sohail Dahdal, Associate Professor at the Department of Mass Communication, American University of Sharjah, also commented: “I think the more social media is integrated in our life, the more important it is for us to understand the implications of the use of social media platforms on our lives as individuals, and also on society.
“These last few years, there has been an increase in awareness by the public on the implications of third party use of data, and also the idea that we are giving social media platforms our data for free. The issue is three fold: privacy and the misuse of data; the long-term effect of leaving a digital footprint; the dollar value of our data. Of course, social media platforms counter that they need our data to serve us better and that they also need to utilise that data for profit so that they can give us a value for money.”
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