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With the recent leak of the century viz Facebook Data Leak with Cambridge Analytica, WhatsApp – freeware messaging and VoIP service by Facebook is claiming to share its payment data of the users with Facebook and other third-party apps. This controversy is a part of the recent announcement of WhatsApp to get into digital wallets and start their services globally to pay for items/services through chat. Read more about this here.
Whatsapp is looking to get into the commercial side of the business with over 2 billion users, globally. Currently they are looking to monetize basis two pronged strategy.
Information Channel : Just like SMS services delivering information and updates for consumer. It had already tied with some of the leading services in India viz. Book My Show and RedBus to keep sending alerts to users whenever there is an update. It has better penetration and Click Through Rate than messages from the Telecom Provider. They are going to earn through each message which are getting delivered. Not to mention it has better success rate than telecom operator and can be tracked at various levels for analysis purpose.
WhatsApp Payments: Whatsapp is tying up with various payment services private and government to get into mobile and digital payments. In one of the recent developments they have tried to tie up with NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India). They are looking to bring in all models of digital payments including UPI and IMPS which are quite popular amongst digital wallet because of their smaller timeframe.
This statement clearly means that it will continue to share some of the important list of information such as transaction mediums, amount, and even confidential information pertaining to financial transaction with third party apps and Facebook.
About Cambridge Analytica Data leak
In the 2016 Presidential elections, Facebook shared data of around 87 million users indirectly with Cambridge Analytica ( a data analysis & strategic communication firm for the electoral process) based out of Great Britain. Facebook also has confirmed that more than 70 Mn of the affected users are in the US, and a million each in the Philippines, Indonesia, and the UK. While 335 people in India were directly affected by an app installation (Through Facebook), and another 562,120 people were potentially affected as friends of those users.
How did it all started?
It all started in 2014. An academic of Russian origin Aleksandr Kogan, created a Facebook app which paid thousands of users to take a psychological test which was conceived to understand the user psychology and behaviour in the purview of casting their votes and choosing their leader. The app was titled “This Is Your Digital Life”. He further sold the data to Cambridge Analytica.
What was done with the users and the data?
The data was used to manipulate users by targeting them digitally basis the data feed and thereby opining them to a school of thought, and eventually translating it into the win of the supported party.