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App Alert 

What’s so bad about WhatsApp for your business?

Did you know that it’s against WhatsApp’s terms of service to use it for business communications? I know — your entire business happens on WhatsApp. But besides for it being against the terms of service (which you didn’t read because, let’s be honest, nobody reads them), lawyers say it’s a bad idea, because you’re exposing yourself to a lot of risk. (You can take this with a grain of salt because lawyers think all forms of 21st century communication are bad idea.)

Here are the details:

What’s so bad about WhatsApp for your business?

WhatsApp is not GDPR compliant. Because anyone (think customers, suppliers) can be added to a group without their consent, that is a breach of privacy. GDPR states that people need to give their consent before starting communication.

The end-to-end encryption makes you feel safe, but it shouldn’t. Yes, messages sent over the app are encrypted, but chat backups and exported chats are not. People can download their chat history, save it as a doc and send it to a friend, or more nefarious, sell it. There goes your encryption safety net.

There is no central database of WhatsApp chats within your business or organization. Without that, information about your business is up for grabs. You have no idea who’s talking to who, and when. And c’mon, we all know that there’s the chat, and then the chat about the chat — that’s not good for anyone.

Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back. In WhatsApp, once a document, picture, or message is shared, it is on the recipient’s device indefinitely. There is no way to later restrict access if the person leaves the business or organization.

So what should you do?

Simple — find another platform. WhatsApp actually has a business platform, but most people don’t know about it, or just don’t use it for no real reason. There are many other great platforms available today that are built for internal business use as well as B2B communication, like Slack, WeChat, and Skype.

All Sizzle No Steak

5G is the next big thing, they keep saying. Others say it’s already here. And of course, there are those who blame 5G cell towers and Bill Gates for coronavirus (can we just laugh at them for a moment?). In any case, there’s a lot of promise and excitement over how 5G can change business with zero lag time (real time really is real time), robotics, communications, and immersion. Right now though, it’s still all the stuff of the future. While Internet Service Providers and mobile carriers are running ads promoting their vast 5G network, it’s unlikely to make a difference in your life just yet. The people who will benefit are those living in rural area where broadband Internet access was spotty. That’s it for now, and likely all of 2021.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 851)

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