Better World WhatsApp Privacy Policy Survey

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Recently, BM Nxt, a market research and communication advisory firm has published the results of its lately conducted Better World WhatsApp Privacy Policy Survey. Moreover, BM Nxt addresses the analysis-based information needs of technology users and business decision-makers and planners across ICT companies, technology user organizations, and investment communities. Coming back on the survey, the survey was conducted among 565 interviewees between 9 January and 25 January 2021.

Better World WhatsApp Privacy Policy Survey

The survey was conducted to understand the mindset and response of WhatsApp users on account of WhatsApp’s aim to change its privacy policy and open select user data with Facebook, Instagram, as well as third-party service providers. As for the result of the survey is considered:
• 82% of the candidates were not in the favor of the new policy by WhatsApp.
• 37% of the candidates considered the new policy, a serious breach of their privacy.
• 45% said that they did not find the policy good, but they can live with it.
• 18% of the candidates who participated in the survey said that the change didn’t bother them.
The result of the survey also stated the fact that:
• 18% of the overall respondents have already started using an alternative platform in place of WhatsApp. If I have to guess, then the majority of people have moved to Telegram and Signal.
• 18% of the overall respondents said that they will move to another platform within a week or so.
• 29% said they would be making the switch in a month
• And, 28% of users said they had no plans to switch on some other platform.

As per Deepak Kumar, the founder analyst of Better World–BM Nxt, the planned privacy-policy change by WhatsApp has created a greater awareness around non-WhatsApp messaging platforms. The change in privacy policy even contributed to expanding the user base of other messaging platforms. People now know about Telegram and Signal. They can and they are using these two platforms as viable alternatives to WhatsApp. People who used WhatsApp for business purposes are also likely to explore and embrace the non-WhatsApp platform because their customer base will more likely switch to non-WhatsApp messaging platforms. “

Having said all about the data showcased as per the results of the survey, Deepak Kumar also mentioned that despite the displeasure expressed by the users, there is likely to be a mismatch between what they are saying and what they will do. No doubt that user responses to the survey are genuine expressions of their dislike for the privacy-policy change, but, the actual act of switching to another messaging app will be based on more practical considerations. Because if a certain number of one’s friends, families, and peers also don’t make a switch to another common platform, users are likely to reconsider and stay on irrespective of the policy change.

The participants of the survey have also urged the need for the government’s intervention in some way. 43% of the respondents stated that there needs to be a more holistic regulation in terms of privacy-policy while another 24% of the respondents said the government should ask WhatsApp to roll back the changes. However, 33% of the users said that it would be better to let users be the best judge in this situation.

Better World WhatsApp Privacy Policy Survey The survey even showed that users were aware of the development. 80% of users said that they knew that WhatsApp was changing its privacy policy, and would be sharing a range of user data with Facebook and Instagram platforms soon. However, the remaining 20% of users said they were not aware of such changes. Moreover, 47% of users said they understood the implications of WhatsApp’s new privacy policy for users and 18% said they understood that fully well. But, only 29% said they didn’t understand it well enough while another 6% said they didn’t understand it at all.

Jatinder Singh, Director, Research and Insights at Better World–BM Nxt, said that Signal is the second choice for people who participated in the survey as an alternative for WhatsApp. Moreover, Signal is considered to be the most privacy-oriented messaging app. Telegram, which is considered the second-most privacy-friendly app, emerged as the app with the highest user preference. While 34% of the users voted for Telegram as a WhatsApp alternative (and in some cases, as a replacement), a good 24% voted for Telegram also.

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