If you are a WhatsApp user in Hong Kong, you might find that your instant-messaging application is somehow quiet these days.
It turns out that, many users decided to ban WhatsApp before WhatsApp could ban them. Encouraged by KOLs and peers, they “migrated” to other encrypted messaging platforms, most notably Telegram and Signal.
Signal was founded by Moxie Marlinspike and Brian Acton. Brian is also a co-founder of WhatsApp. The app has been endorsed by heavyweights including Elon Musk and Edward Snowden.
When Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, it promised that the app will operate independently. However, starting from 2016, WhatsApp has been sharing user information and metadata with Facebook. WhatsApp cofounders Brian Acton and Jan Koum left the company in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Hong Kong’s privacy watchdog, the Office of the Privacy Commission for Personal Data, requested WhatsApp to explain clearly what kind of personal data will be shared with Facebook, and the purpose of such sharing.
Regulators and officials from other jurisdictions also raise concerns over WhatsApp’s new policy:
- European Parliament (https://about.fb.com/news/2014/02/facebook-to-acquire-whatsapp/）
- South Africa, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (https://www.gov.za/speeches/information-regulator-assessing-compliance-revised-whatsapp-privacy-policy-14-jan-2021-0000)
- Turkey, Personal Data Protection Authority (https://www.kvkk.gov.tr/Icerik/6857/PUBLIC-ANNOUNCEMENT-ON-WHATSAPP-APPLICATION)
- Pakistan, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting…