Why All Maltese People Should Change Their Whatsapp Settings
A small tip that makes all the difference to your online privacy
As most smartphone users are aware, Whatsapp and Facebook are going back on their promise to keep all WhatsApp data private after the social media giant acquired the instant messaging service back in October 2014. This may seem like an irrelevant change to some, but as highlighted in an article back in December, the Maltese government leads the world in Facebook user data requests.
Back in 2015 Facebook approved 71% of these requests by the government. Yes, this is a service usually reserved for preventing criminal offences in a country, but with such a high rate of requests per capita, it's easy to see why so many are suspicious of the change. Now that Whatsapp will also be feeding data to the social media giant, these requests will carry even more information on users.
However, there's still a chance to block this from happening in time, and you might be able to stop your information being shared among prospective advertisers.
The first option is easy:
...but only if you haven't agreed to the new terms yet. If you're among the lucky ones to have restrained yourself from just pressing 'Agree' on the new menu that should have come up if you opened WhatsApp over the past few days (pictured above), navigating Facebook's pesky new scheme should be relatively straightforward.
A new menu will now pop up (pictured above) which will give you the possibility to opt out of the new feature with relative ease.
There's also a second option, that requires a little bit more fiddling:
...and time-barred. Basically, if you've already agreed to the Terms of Service and only suddenly realised that you may not like their implications, you have 30 days to reverse your decision, which you can do like so:
1. Go to your Settings menu on WhatsApp
2. Select the 'Account' tab
3. Click on the 'Share My Account Info' tab that should come up to reverse the process.
So what's this all about then?
Basically, advertising. Facebook "just" wants to make sure the "user experience" on the social media platform is streamlined to their needs. Which translates into: "We need all the info we can get from you -- like your phone number -- to ensure our advertisers are happy with the users we're throwing their way".
However, the initial panic over the new adjustments also had people worried that their private chats may be compromised. But if the WhatsApp message we've already seen is anything to go by, this will not be a concern - even if you've opted into the new changes.