Messaging applications have improved our lives in recent years. Before we had to send SMS for payment every time we wanted to communicate with someone, something archaic and could be quite expensive in our phone bill. With the advent of more complex operating systems we witnessed the birth of WhatsApp.
This application allowed us to send text messages totally free to other users, the size we would like, and having a very new interface for that time. Little by little the application has been improving, and seeing competition, and although it has improved many of the initial problems.
For the past year and a half, several governments have been blocking the legal use of these applications, claiming they do not comply with the data protection law. This is something that Europe takes very seriously, and that WhatsApp and other applications overlook. They make their game, improving from time to time some important point to appease the critics and the pressures.
WhatsApp and your privacy: pretty far from being legal
The law of data protection is clear with the type of applications that can be used in the countries that host it. In Europe we have a fairly strict law, but that seems to serve no purpose in front of application like Telegram or WhatsApp. Today we are going to see the different points that WhatsApp should change to be a totally legal messaging application.
According to data protection law, messaging applications should not be able to access our default contact list, something that almost all we use in our day to day. Nor should it allow a user to contact us without having accepted it before, something that also happens in applications like WhatsApp or Telegram.
These applications should also store their data on EU servers, and not share them with other companies, something that WhatsApp is again overlooked. Really, the only point WhatsApp does well, is to implement end-to-end encryption, something that came relatively recently. These kinds of things are the changes that appease the judges, and leaves them room for maneuver to applications like WhatsApp.
Of all the measures we have discussed, WhatsApp only complies with one of them, so it is far from being a totally legal application. The problem is, it has become such a basic tool for most people, that shutting down the service is unfeasible. We will see what the next reform is carried out by the company to adapt a little more to the law of data protection.