Last week, WhatsApp published information about the new terms of service and the policy for processing user data, and also said that it is necessary to accept the new terms by February 8, otherwise you can lose access to the messenger.
This caused massive panic among users, many chose to switch to Telegram and Signal. Much of this was due to misinformation, as WhatsApp notes, as few actually read the new policy changes. WhatsApp is going to reassure users, clarify the situation, and the deadline for adopting the new rules has been postponed until May 15.
The new changes only affect those who interact with WhatsApp Business accounts. These business accounts can now use Facebook’s hosting services to manage their WhatsApp chats, use Facebook branded commercial features such as stores, and display Facebook ads. In each of these cases, Facebook will now collect information about you if you interact with that company and its ads, as if you were clicking on any other Facebook ad.
We do not intend to block or delete anyone on February 8th. In addition, we plan to work actively to dispel false rumors about the privacy and security principles of WhatsApp communication. We will then gradually begin inviting our users to review the new policy by May 15th, when new business opportunities begin.
WhatsApp states that the new policy does not change anything regarding users’ messaging or calling other users or groups as these terms have not changed. Your messages and calls will still be encrypted, your messages will not be stored on Facebook’s servers. It’s not that WhatsApp doesn’t share any data with Facebook at all; just the amount of data transferred does not change with this update. In fact, if this was not a problem for you before, it should not be now.
Many people just don’t know that WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and that they are sharing data. So they got nervous when they learned that they needed to start sharing data with Facebook or stop using the service. Some even suggested that their accounts would be deleted after February 8th.
The company emphasizes that the new changes are only relevant for those who interact with business accounts and do not affect other users. So now WhatsApp hopes that people with more peace of mind will click the Agree button.
Google degrades in Google Photos the definition of the place where the photo was taken
Google has warned users about a new location policy for Google Photos (Google Photos).
Google Photos will stop using a user account’s location history to determine where specific pictures were taken, according to a new support document. This policy will apply to users who have opted out of sharing location data for the camera app for privacy reasons.
Until now, if you didn’t allow the camera app to use your current location, Google Photos used two methods to roughly estimate where you took the photo. First, the app will try to identify visible landmarks in your photos, and second, it will use your location history to narrow down the area.
However, now Google Photos will rely solely on trying to identify landmarks in photos. As you can easily guess, this method is noticeably less reliable.
Google notes that the change has already started rolling out to some Google Photos users, with a full rollout expected in the coming months.
“Digital version of yourself”: WhatsApp launched avatars
The team of the popular WhatsApp messenger announced the launch of an interesting innovation – avatars.
According to the developers, avatars will allow users to create a “digital version of themselves.” A variety of combinations of hairstyles, facial features and images are available for the avatar. You can use your avatar as your WhatsApp profile picture. Moreover, during installation, you can choose one of 36 facial expressions and actions.
In addition, a selection of personal stickers is created with the avatar. The developers also talked about how the avatars will develop. Now work is underway on light and shadow, hair textures and other details.
Avatars are becoming available to WhatsApp users gradually and will eventually appear for everyone.
Reading mode for the entire system and the ability to transfer the digital key from the car. Google updated Android
Google has introduced several new features for the OS without updating the version of Android.
For example, now Android has a Reading mode. This is a fairly serious innovation, which even requires a separate application, which is already available on Google Play.
The new mode is designed to optimize the reading process, allowing you to adjust the contrast, speech synthesis, font size and type, as well as highlight the main thing on the page. In general, Google says that the mode is intended for users with visual impairments and dyslexia, but people without the mentioned problems will be able to use some of its functions.
The main highlight of the new mode is that it works at the system level, which means that all kinds of settings can be configured, regardless of the application used.
Google also made available a speed-controlled text-to-speech feature with a choice of “natural-sounding voices” to choose from, and support for English, French, Italian, and Spanish.
In addition, the digital car key function has been updated, which allows you to use your smartphone instead of a car key. Now users can share these same digital keys. It is possible to view activity and control access to the machine. Currently, this feature is only supported by Pixel 6 and iPhone smartphones, but the list will expand in the near future.
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