The measure relating to the sharing of data of WhastApp users with Facebook, as of February 8, is “a shortfall” for African users. This is in substance the reaction of many specialists in cybercrime, online marketing or even New Information and Communication Technologies (NICT).
As of February 8, WhatsApp users outside of Europe will be forced to share certain data with Facebook. A measure that feeds indignation and fears in the strongholds of users. For specialists in Cybercrime, Online Marketing or even New Information and Communication Technologies (NICT), this sharing of data is a form of digital slavery. Decryption!
A good online business strategy
Sharing data relating to the time, frequency and duration of activities and interactions, IP addresses, geographic codes … WhatsApp wants to give everything to Facebook, its daron. If the average Internet user sees no risk, specialists think that this new mode of operation of these two software is a way of controlling user preferences.
For engineer Marcel Shabani, Master in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, behind this approach that looks like a “ruse”, lies a commercial strategy. “This decision is a good deal for Facebook, which will win in terms of audience. By sharing the information of WhatsApp users, Facebook will increase its turnover. This will make his business shine following the marketing and sale of this user data to companies, ”he told Afrik.com.
Digital slavery and the risk of cybercrime
From its 16 years of existence, the digital conquest of Facebook is far from reaching its epilogue. The sayings managers of this social network suggesting that this new rule of use is a continuation in the process WhatsApp integration in the structure, does not stand up in front of Cybercrime specialists. The latter see a margin of digital slavery that the Zuckeberg gang wants to impose on users.
“Several users do not yet understand the real motive of this rule”, asserts the Kenyan Rolan Olowo. According to this Cybercrime consultant, in case of mismanagement of user data, this new policy of the WhatsApp – Facebook duo could be at the base of the rise of cybercrime in Africa in the days to come. “This measure will allow Facebook to have access to several necessary information of users including their phone number, their names, their access to newspapers, the log of all their discussions on WhatsApp,” he notes.
Engineer Marcel Shabani explains that the fact for “WhatsApp to use End-to-End Encryptions”; this call encryption system can facilitate “cybercrime, as well as the monitoring of user exchanges”. According to this specialist in Geographic Information System, this new rule could weaken the security system of many users. He explains that “the possibility for Facebook to have access to the number that identifies the user’s phone on the network; time zone and browser could contribute to the geolocation of users ”.
What alternative for users?
Faced with this new rule set by WhatsApp, African specialists in New Information and Communication Technologies (NICT) are pleading, on the one hand, for the implementation of messaging software that guarantees respect for privacy and on the other hand, for the appropriation of social networks developed by young Africans. “To put an end to this question, we are called to appropriate the social networks developed by our African brothers”, indicates Mr. Owolo.
Same story for the Franco-Malian, Amadou Diawara, founder of the social network, Kingui Social.“It is a social network created in Africa for Africans in particular and the whole world in general. We ensure respect for privacy by implementing security measures and a good confidentiality policy, ”he says.
While welcoming the current trend of users, consisting in migrating to the Signal social network, engineer Marcel Shabani also aligns himself behind the idea of appropriation and self-determination of young Africans. “The time has come to provide a solution to our problems relating to New Information and Communication Technologies (NICT)”, he indicates, adding: “From now on, we must subscribe to the process of funding for startups and the encouragement of young people who excel in NICT ”.