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Large majority continue to use WhatsApp despite the data protection debate


The messenger service Whatsapp currently does not have the best reputation. The criticism comes primarily from privacy advocates. The normal users, on the other hand, shrug their shoulders.

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Whatsapp app on the iPhone: Almost 80 percent continue to participate

Photo: Christoph Dernbach / dpa

The month-long controversy surrounding the new data protection rules on WhatsApp apparently has hardly any consequences for Facebook's chat service in Germany.

In a survey commissioned by the dpa news agency, 79 percent said that they use the app on their smartphone.

A good half of WhatsApp users (52 percent) therefore already agreed to the new provisions that came into force in mid-May.

At the same time, 13 percent said that they intended to delete the app.

Around half of them had concerns about data protection beforehand, while five percent of those surveyed only had doubts after the debate about the new provisions.

Two percent want to leave because many of their contacts have also removed WhatsApp.

Half of them “don't feel good”, but stay anyway

Whether there will actually be a permanent goodbye to WhatsApp is another question.

In the past twelve months, only three percent of those surveyed deleted the app from their smartphones.

And a total of eight percent said that they had removed WhatsApp before - but then returned because too many of their contacts could be reached via the service.

At the same time, almost half of WhatsApp users have a bad feeling about data protection.

Every third person has concerns - but stays because the contact person can be reached there.

Another 14 percent also have doubts, but do not know of a good alternative.

28 percent have no data protection concerns.

High purchase price - but hardly any profit

WhatsApp has more than two billion users, but had to contend with criticism in the past few months after the announcement of new usage rules.

The trigger was an update with which WhatsApp wanted to share more data with the parent company Facebook.

WhatsApp rejected this as a misunderstanding - and finally dropped plans to limit the range of functions for those users who do not agree to the rules.

For Facebook, the changes are a first attempt at making money with WhatsApp.

The world's largest social network took over Messenger in 2014 for around 22 billion dollars.

With the purchase, Facebook took a potential rival from the market, but the service has so far hardly contributed to group profits.

During this time, the company cannot afford discussions about possible emigration.

Signal as the most popular alternative

According to the survey, the most popular WhatsApp alternative is Signal with 27 percent. WhatsApp also uses the technology of this app for so-called end-to-end encryption. With complete encryption, the content of the communication is basically only visible to the participants in plain text, but not to the platform operator. Signal is now financially supported by WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, who left the Facebook group.

Almost on a par with Signal was in the favor of possible WhatsApp migrants Telegram.

26 percent want to opt for the app operated by the founder of the Russian Facebook clone VKontakte, Pawel Durow.

The Threema service came to 16 percent, 13 percent want to switch to Facebook's in-house Alternative Messenger.

15 percent want to use classic SMS instead of end-to-end encrypted chat services.

In the representative online survey, Yougov Germany interviewed people in mid-June 2029.

mik / dpa-AFX

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-06-23

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