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Major privacy warning to everyone that uses WhatsApp ahead of update

Major privacy warning to everyone that uses WhatsApp ahead of update

Major changes are coming to WhatsApp this year

WhatsApp is used by almost one third of the world's population, with two billion of us opting to use it to send our loved ones, mates, and colleagues messages on a daily basis.

But now, a warning has been issued with the app as it is set to undergo revolutionary changes this year.

Bought by Facebook (now Meta) in 2014, the messaging app is valued at a staggering $19 billion.

The app gives users the ability to text, video chat, and voice message others whether in private or group chat.

Now, a massive update is expected on the app after major rule changes that will take place in just a few weeks time.

We're on about the EU's new Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, which will become law on 11 April.

As a result, Meta is in the process of updating its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy within the European Region.

The EU's new law means that sending messages between different apps will become a requirement.

This means WhatsApp users will be able to message people not using WhatsApp, as first reported by WABetaInfo. The same will apply for other big tech messaging apps too.

Meta has confirmed it will 'enable interoperability with third-party messaging services' to 'comply with a new EU law'.

WhatsApp is renowned for using end-to-end encryption, which means that your conversations are private and not even a tech giant like Meta can access them - even if they wanted to.

Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Google Messages has the same policy, as does Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and Signal.

And WhatsApp is reportedly going to give users three warnings before they decide to turn this on on their own device, due to security worries the new rules could bring about.

The first is expected to read: "You're messaging someone outside of WhatsApp. Third-party apps may use different end-to-end encryption."

The second adds: "Spam and Scams may be more common in third-party chats."

And a third will say: "Third-party apps have their own policies. They may handle your data differently than WhatsApp does."

Should the feature be turned on, it means WhatsApp users would also be able to message Telegram users.

Users can also transfer their WhatsApp to Telegram if they so wish - something that has been reported on widely in recent weeks - but this has come with a warning.

It should be used with caution given Telegram's stance on end-to-end encryption.

Teenager with his iPhone.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

First thing's first, Telegram does have end-to-end encryption. But it's not automatically applied to all chats.

In fact, it is only applied for one-to-one calls and messages if you select the 'Secret Chats' option.

So if someone uses 'Regular' chat options, your messages aren't protect to the same degree as sticking to WhatsApp.

Security and surveillance writer Zak Doffman, from Forbes, said: "Moving chats from WhatsApp, which is end-to-end encrypted by default, over to Telegram, which isn’t, is a major security no-no, I’m afraid.

"Especially group chats comprising otherwise secure content from multiple users."

And security company Kaspersky says: "By default, Telegram chats do not use end-to-end encryption, and nor does the messenger inform users about the secure chat option."

So if you're going to make the move to Telegram from WhatsApp, make sure you go Secrets Chats to keep your privacy the same as before.

LADbible has contacted Meta for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images/Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Topics: Apple, Google, Phones, Samsung, Technology, WhatsApp, iPhone, Facebook, Meta