WhatsApp has more security and privacy than Telegram, says company president

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Will Cathcart WhatsApp

Will Cathcart, global president of WhatsApp, recently went public to reaffirm the position of the company he leads as a secure and more private platform than rival Telegram. He also pointed a finger at the misinformation that is rife on the Internet.

The WhatsApp strongman admitted that the failure to communicate changes to the Privacy Policy had negative repercussions, with confidence in the platform being undermined. Cathcart also revealed several details about the functioning of his company.

There is more security and privacy on WhatsApp than on Telegram

Will Cathcart WhatsApp
Will Cathcart, global head of WhatsApp.

It was in a recent interview that the strong man of WhatsApp made known several points about his company. First, it revealed that since 2014, the date of the acquisition by Facebook, that the messaging platform has not registered visible profits.

For this reason, one of the company’s priorities is the Business platform, which wants to provide companies and businesses with a communication platform with customers. With more than two billion users – according to Statista – the potential for profitability is great. However, the company continues to prohibit any type of advertising presented to the user.

It was precisely the priority given to the Business platform that led to the update of the privacy policy, the fatal notice of which began to circulate in early January. In Europe, unlike the rest of the world, there was no ultimatum.

Users were bombarded with misinformation and sensationalism

The announcement was received in the worst possible way. The changes ignited and the Internet, buffeted by sensational titles that even in Europe promised an ultimatum. This could never happen due to the GDPR in force in the community. The damage was done.

Anyway, as we reported on a previous occasion, the exchange of user data with Facebook has already taken place since 2016. The application of the new Privacy Terms only puts on paper what, in practice, was already done by the social network.

Cathcart is vehement in stating that WhatsApp will not see messages exchanged, nor any communication from the user, being protected by end-to-end encryption. In all types of communication on WhatsApp, instead of Telegram which only presents this protection in secret chats. Something we also made known at 4gnews, on a previous occasion.

In the European Union we are protected by the GDPR

2/5 It has been incorrectly reported that WhatsApp’s latest Terms of Service and Privacy Policy update requires users in the European Region to agree to the sharing of data with Facebook for ads purposes in order to continue using the service. This is false.

– Niamh Sweeney (@NiamhSweeneyNYC) January 7, 2021

Above we gathered the testimony, expressed through Twitter, by Niamh Sweeney, responsible for WhatsApp for Europe. In practice, there are no significant changes in the privacy policy, with more information in the previous article.

Will Cathcart also makes a “mea culpa” in the way the changes were communicated. “The responsibility for communication is ours. Therefore, we decided to postpone (until May 15), the entry into force of the new privacy policy of the platform.

Until then, the company wants to combat misinformation and try to regain the trust of users who have been looking for alternatives such as Signal and, above all, Telegram. On the latter, Cathcart also expressed his conviction.

Cathcart has admitted sharing metadata with Facebook since 2016. He justified it by combating spam and mass messages. These purposes are only a fraction of the purposes underlying the sharing of these identifiers with the Facebook group.

The executive clarified that Facebook will start offering hosting companies and message management services to large companies using the Business API. Among these services are targeted advertising, target ads. That is the result of the new authorization to share this data with Facebook, so that it can deliver personalized ads.

More security and privacy on WhatsApp than on Telegram

Whatsapp

Faced with the sudden popularity of Telegram and Signal, Cathcart defended his platform.

It did so by stating that your company’s privacy history is sound and that all of your communications are protected by end-to-end encryption.

The encryption key that protects messages, calls and any group sharing, not just private conversations. Only with the numeric key, or QR code, does the user have access to the content of what is sent by the users.

The executive stated that Telegram does not have this option – in fact, it does, but only in secret chats. He also pointed out that Telegram maintains a copy of the messages, “a real privacy and security problem”, especially if someone is able to hack and access their servers.

Cathcart sees Telegram more as a social network than as a messaging and communications application and platform.

Asked about Signal, the WhatsApp strongman acknowledged that his company collects more user data “but only those necessary to keep people safe and fight violations like mass shooting“, here referring to the metadata as the IP address.

The interview given by the company’s global manager comes at a time when WhatsApp is struggling to regain the trust of its users on the platform.

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