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WhatsApp gets dumped by Erdogan on mounting privacy concerns

The presidency will move its WhatsApp groups to encrypted messaging app BiP.
Image: Arif Akdogan/Bloomberg

The media office of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is quitting WhatsApp, joining a global flight from the popular messaging app over new usage terms that have sparked privacy concerns.

The presidency will move its WhatsApp groups to encrypted messaging app BiP, a unit of Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetler, on January 11, it said in a message Saturday to the groups. The switch coincides with Erdogan’s broader campaign against social media platforms that activists say is meant to stifle dissent.

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Changes to WhatsApp’s terms and services effective February 8 will allow it to share data with parent company Facebook. Users must agree to the new terms or lose access to their accounts at WhatsApp.


The world’s richest man, technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, has issued a call to switch to rival app Signal, leading to a surge in new users of its service.

Read: Signal, Telegram see demand spike as new WhatsApp terms stir debate

Turkcell reported a similar pattern in Turkey, with about 1 million new users joining BiP Messenger in the past 24 hours, according to a company statement on Sunday. The application has been downloaded more than 53 million times since it was launched in 2013, Turkcell said.

Erdogan’s office, in its statement, urged Turks to switch to BiP. Turkey Wealth Fund took a majority stake in Turkcell, the country’s biggest mobile phone operator, in 2020.

Erdogan’s jettisoning of WhatsApp is his latest move against social media giants, which Turkey recently fined for not appointing local representatives as required by a new law. Activists who accuse him of increasingly authoritarian ways say the required appointments are part of a broader process that will throttle the platforms to the point of being unusable in Turkey.

Turkish authorities regularly arrest social media users on charges including insulting Erdogan, and banned Wikipedia for three years until a court ruled a year ago that the restriction violated free speech. Access to Twitter has been hampered.

Chinese-owned TikTok, which was among the companies including Facebook that were fined, agreed last week to appoint a local representative.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.


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good move, I also want to move away from whatsapp but have so many work and business groups.

Straight jacketed ….yip…you are owned …enjoy the surfdom

you have to start somewhere and sometime. The migration to a new platform will be quicker than you think.

runs to another app… doesn’t read the terms & conditions of the new app… new app’s terms & conditions the same as the old app (baaaaaaaa baaaaa)

So here we all run away from the Americans (FB/WhatsApp) for fear of data-sharing, which is not an evil business model, and we run to a Russian-app….Telegram….with less security.

Those that that this Russian app will not share your data to anyone, is living in a Fools’ World.

Suddenly now is WA a problem, after been data-sharing for a long time. Surely nothing wrong to monetise an app through selling data (yes, “we are the product”) instead of charging subscription fees.

We seem to forget, when we accept “cookies” on any website, our information get collected (and is likely sold for advertising revenue).

When we use (free) VPN services….they sell user’s data to earn revenue.

…even decades ago (before computers and still today) your bank information gets shared with the bank broker/financial advisor, to help his/her identify the wealthier clients to cross sell products to.
That’s all there is to it. Selling data to others for Advertising revenue.

And no conspiracy theories that it’s part of the New World Order, blah blah.

If you have to move, Signal is more secure, and share less data (again, at present). Once sufficient clout/members/followers join in later on, it becomes ripe for selling data / monetising. Nothing is for free.

And just to further extend the conversation here is a titbit from Tech focused India Times.
I wonder if anybody has heard of Inrupt based on a platform called Solid. Essentially it is a personalized www where you control any and all of your data.

So it seems as if telegram and signal as well as Inrupt are doing a major pushback against the mainstream “controllers” of the Interwebs – Faceless, Amazon, Google etc.

End of comments.





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