WhatsApp asked its some two billion users on Jan. 8 to accept new terms that will allow it to share more information with Facebook and roll out advertising and e-commerce.
The update sparked criticism among users as they must accept the changes or see their access to the service -- which also allows encrypted voice and video calls -- cut off from Feb. 8.
The latest update of WhatsApp is "outrageous," Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua said as he warned against more efforts to compromise the privacy of those using the Facebook-owned app.
"The update not only demonstrates how meaningless user privacy is to WhatsApp, but it seems like a new record in disrespecting users record it will no doubt keep breaking in the future."
In light of WhatsApp's announcement, messaging apps Telegram and Signal have announced surges in new users in their respective platforms.
Agaoua assured users of Viber, whose customer base in the Philippines accounts for a quarter of the population, of respect to their privacy.
Viber reminded its users of the following privacy features of its messaging app:
- End-to-end encryption by default for free personal calls and chats, no special settings required. It’s clear and simple: No one can access your calls and chats except the participants, not even Viber.
- Delivered messages are not stored by Viber and Cloud backup is off by default: Users that would like to back up their chats can choose to activate cloud backup, but Viber doesn’t keep any copy of users’ messages and calls.
- Screen privacy: Viber offers screen privacy, allowing users to send self-destructing messages within a chat and entire chats can be hidden and only visible using a pin code.
- No uer data is shared with Facebook: Viber has cut all business ties with Facebook. No user information (Users’ phone numbers and personal data)is or will be, shared with Facebook at all.
--with a report from Agence-France Presse