Federal Govt Warns Nigerians On new Whatsapp Rule


To prevent unfavorable repercussions, the Federal Government has warned Nigerians to be cautious of the current WhatsApp messenger privacy policy.

Following Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014, WhatsApp released a revised privacy policy on January 4, informing users outside the European Union that it would now share their information with Facebook and its sister companies.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Hadiza Umar, Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations at the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said that in order to better understand the issues and address the growing concerns of Nigerians, NITDA, in collaboration with the African Network of Data Protection Authorities, confronted global policy officials of Facebook Incorporated, the owners of the WhatsApp platform.

“The Facebook team confirmed that private messages shared on WhatsApp consumer version are encrypted and not seen by the company. But the metadata (data about the usage of the service) which is also personal information is shared with other members of the Facebook Group.”

She said as a result, Nigerians are advised to explore other available platforms with similar functionalities, but tighter privacy policies and security.

“They should limit the sharing of sensitive personal information on private messaging and social media platforms as the initial promise of privacy and security is now being overridden on the bases of business exigency. To improve compliance with the NDPR, we have also raised concerns as to the marked difference between the privacy standard applicable in Europe, under the GDPR and the rest of the world.”

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