German privacy watchdog advises WhatsApp users to switch

WhatsApp users should consider an alternative now that the chat service has been taken over by Facebook, according to the German privacy watchdog ULD. The collection of personal data by Facebook has been a thorn in the side of the organization for some time.

That is what the Unabhängige Landeszentrum für Datenschutz said in a statement published on its website. The organization states that the recently announced acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook ensures that the latter can combine personal data from both services for commercial purposes. The privacy advocate states that some users use WhatsApp to escape the ‘collection rage’ of Facebook.

The ULD previously claimed that Facebook is violating a European privacy law with the way it collects data from users, something the organization is now referring to again. According to the ULD, Facebook refuses to respect European law. The Germans also criticize the security problems with which WhatsApp made the news several times.

The ULD mentions the chat services Threema and MyEnigma as a possible alternative to WhatsApp. Both offer encrypted connections and are suitable for Android and iOS. Incidentally, it turned out that after the takeover of WhatsApp, the Telegram service gained many new users: the latter profiles itself as a ‘safe alternative to WhatsApp’.

Facebook announced that it was acquiring WhatsApp for $16 billion, which is approximately $11.6 billion. WhatsApp is one of the most well-known mobile chat applications and has approximately 450 million active users per day.