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Turkey launches investigation into Facebook, Whatsapp
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Turkey launches investigation into Facebook, Whatsapp

The Turkish government is concerned about data privacy and said digital data must be protected

The Turkish Competition Board initiated an investigation into WhatsApp and its owner Facebook after changes in the terms and conditions of the messaging app, requiring users to agree to let Facebook collect user data including phone numbers and locations. While this only applies to business accounts in the European Union (EU), individual users will be affected in the rest of the world should they agree with the terms and conditions that come into effect on February 8th.

Ali Taha Koc, the head of Turkey’s Digital Transformation Office, said that foreign applications pose serious security risks. He said that different standards for EU and users from other countries.

“The distinction between EU members and other countries in terms of data privacy is unacceptable,” Koc tweeted. “We have to protect our digital data with our local apps.”

Local apps

Turkey has a number of local messaging apps similar to Whatsapp that are used widely. #DeleteWhatsapp had over 100,000 posts in a single day and was trending in the country after the new terms and conditions came to fore. Turkish mobile network giant Turkcell’s messaging app BiP, gained over 1.12 million users in just 24 hours. It now has more thn 53 million users across the globe. Dedi is another popular local alternative to Whatsapp.  

Monetizing Whatsapp

Whatsapp during its early days looked to monetize the app by charging one dollar per year from all the users. However, it remained free and was bought by Facebook in 2014. Facebook is now looking to monetize the app and sharing data useful for the advertisers appears to be the chosen option. Advertisers will be able to reach the individual users with offerings of their interest. While it is great for the businesses, it is definitely a massive invasion of privacy. The tech giant should avoid such steps since it will lead to more people leaving the app and simply switching over to the alternative.   

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