All that talking wasn’t a waste as WhatsApp has postponed
the ultimatum (from Feb 8th to May 15th) for accepting its new policies. The company is not deleting or suspending any accounts on February 8. Instead, it’ll expect people to review the policy at their own pace and decide what to do.
WhatsApp has also cleared the air
on what its intentions were. There was no change in the data being collected. Whatsapp is just being transparent about it.
Do Africans care about a change in policy?
While Abina, a Ghanaian teacher, is uncomfortable with the data being shared, she doesn’t care enough to stop using Whatsapp. Justin, an analyst from Nigeria, knows it’s the price he has to pay to use Whatsapp for free and he’s fine with it, as long as his data isn’t abused.
Flo Health app data issues
In 2020, Tech Cabal ran a survey
to find out which period apps were common in Africa; the focus was on Nigeria. Two apps came out as the most popular period apps in use: Flo and My Calendar.
Today, Flo is still the dominant fertility app in Africa. The period and ovulation tracking app allows users to keep an eye on their cycles while notifying them of body changes and upcoming fertile windows.
But recently it was called out
by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an independent agency of the United States government, tasked with promoting consumer protection for sharing users’ data with third-party app analytics and marketing services like Facebook. This was despite their agreement to keep users’ health data private.
Read more: Flo health app under scrutiny for allegedly leaking users' information
The privacy conversation is about holding companies accountable to their promises to keep our data safe and for users, it’s a reminder to keep an eye on how your personal data is being used.