How Not to Maintain Consumer Trust

Ok, so this was pretty big news over the weekend, this WhatsApp “betrayal” of its users’ previously assured privacy by changing its privacy policy to share certain information with Facebook.  When Facebook purchased the company in 2014, both Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum insisted on independence between the two platforms.  That would no longer seem to be the case.

Some of the items to be shared include a phone’s operating system, screen resolution, and mobile carrier.  Details like these could give Facebook an even more thorough profile of a user than it already has.

WhatsApp and Facebook released statements regarding the altered policy, and I thought it would be fun to glance through a few points and translate what they really mean.  WhatsApp claims this data sharing will be positive for its users in several ways, such as by offering people “better friend suggestions.”  Translation: “more random people suggested.”  “More relevant ads” is also cited as a perk; translation: “more ads and relevant ads.”  Then, you have the claim that this will help to “stop spam,” which I can only suspect means “increase spam” in actuality.  Just a hunch.

Consumer trust in a company is paramount, as is faith in an organization’s ability to secure data and handle it discretely.  Nowadays, this is truer than ever before.  Moves like this, then, which go back and contradict earlier promises, only serve to erode consumers’ already tenuous good will and trust.


By: Jonathan Weicher, post on August 29, 2016
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Copyright: NetLib