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Turkey gov’t, military moves from WhatsApp to local messaging app

Turkey’s media office quits WhatsApp over its new privacy policy

January 11, 2021 at 3:56 pm

The Turkish Presidency and military have moved their messaging systems away from WhatsApp and onto a local Turkish messaging app due to new private data concerns, Anadolu Agency reports.

Officials said that the media office will update journalists via BiP, a unit of Turkish communication company Turkcell, from today.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s antitrust board launched an investigation into Facebook Inc. and its messaging service WhatsApp Inc. over new usage terms that have sparked privacy concerns and which are due to come into effect on 8 February.

According to local media quoting Turkcell, BiP gained more than 1.12 million users in just 24 hours, boasting more than 53 million users worldwide.

In terms which Whatsapp is asking all users to agree to or have their account suspended, the messaging application says there will be additional sharing of information between WhatsApp and Facebook and its other applications like Instagram and Messenger such as contacts and profile data but not the content of messages which remain encrypted. However messages stored as backups, either on the cloud or online do not benefit from this encryption and can be accessed.

In November, Turkey fined global social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, 10 million lira ($1.18 million) each for not complying with a new social media law.

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