The WHATSAPP Policy has received a lot of attention after one of Google’s Apps, Inbox, was purchased by the NSA. While the app may have been “obviously” open to eavesdropping and tracking, the actual wording of the policy makes it sound as if the company does not support what it states. The problem is that there are actually two separate policies regarding what should happen when employees use the Google Apps service outside of their regular work scope. These two policies are in conflict with one another, causing confusion among Google Apps users, and even among customers and business partners.
The first policy, documented below, clearly states that Google Apps users can share “audio and video files, applications, photos, messages, and other interactions through an app”. So what does this mean for the WHATSapp application? Google Apps polices do not specifically detail how the company will monitor users who use the Instgram application, so it is unclear whether or not the company will be collecting IP address data or any other data that would allow them to track user movements through their app.
This problem is compounded by the fact that whatsapp does not currently use a traditional web browser for sending messages or receiving updates. Users who are logging into instgram via their mobile device will be subject to this new policy. The good news is that because of whatsapp’s encrypted form, this problem will likely not arise. Users will instead have to send their encrypted form message, which will then be encoded and sent to the mobile device user. Once the encrypted form message has been received, the user will know that they have the right to receive updates on whatsapp without revealing their identity.
The third problem revolves around the transfer of media files between applications. Since whatsapp is no longer transmitting images or videos directly to the mobile device user, there is a good chance that those media files will also be subject to the WHATSAPP policies. Media files include audio files and images, and anything that you transfer from one application to another will become subject to the new policies. To make matters worse, if you attempt to remove any media files from your I contacts list or other apps that you may use to send messages, you will face the same security issues that you currently do. Since there is no way of knowing what the email sender or recipient is doing at the moment that you attempt to un-install a program or message, you must be extra careful when doing so. Failure to remove all media files from your device could result in the loss of your chats, photos and other types of media files.
The final challenge refers to the transfer of information from your computer to your mobile device. The new feature that was introduced with i contact 5.0 means that you no longer need to enter your full name and address in order to send a message to another person. In the past, you would have to provide your full name, home address and sometimes an email address as well. This new feature makes it impossible for people to use your location information or your IP address to attempt to obtain your personal details. If you use Skype or any other instant messaging platform on your phone, you can now transfer the contents of your device to your computer without revealing your location or IP address.