Lately there has been a lot of talk about WhatsApp’s recent change of Terms and Conditions and the fact that it can now share a users’ account information with Facebook. The latter has been the owner of WhatsApp – a widely used messaging app – for about four years, during which not much happened.
But it appears that times are changing and a lot of product promotion is facilitated by Facebook and many other messaging services, thus making the acquisition of personal data from users essential to making better targeted ads. And now, the time has come for Facebook to collect more information from wherever it can, including WhatsApp. Although, when the app was purchased by Facebook, the latter stated that it will maintain its independence.
Some users may be appalled of the situation, while other may welcome the initiative, as they are used to Facebook feeding them information and product ads that are relevant to their preferences. For the first category, things are very simple and that can easily opt out of the whole thing, because this is completely optional.
This has sparked an immense debate about personal data and how much should companies actually acquire from their users and for how long. Some of these issues will be presented by Geoff Revill from Krowdthing at an event that will be held in Helsinki, at the end of August. The event is entitled MyData and it is an initiative with the purpose of helping people gain control over their personal data.
Revill had previously warned people about the dangers of people giving up their personal info to companies that deal in marketing and the Kroudthink approach is that data does not belong to companies, they are only temporary custodians and they should appreciate the opportunity to share their services for the duration of the cooperation between them and the user.