The WhatsApp Dilemma: New Privacy Mandate Threatens Enterprise Privacy, Security and Control
In order to truly understand the WhatsApp dilemma plaguing the enterprise today, we must first take a look back on where it all started. WhatsApp’s original founders envisioned the app to be a secure, consumer-based messaging service with a base premise for users to avoid costly service prices for SMS messaging, especially in Europe. The platform was never meant to leveraged for business communication but as the popularity of mobile messaging gained traction, WhatsApp quickly proliferated the workplace.
As the app gained traction it was becoming immensely popular with its user base for social interaction and exchange of imagery – which was the base promise that Facebook was delivering its end-users. Feeling threatened by this competition, Facebook stepped in on the defense and acquired the company for $19B. This led to contention between WhatsApp’s original founders, who never believed that that app should be leveraged as an advertising platform, and Mark Zuckerberg, who found the opportunity to monetize WhatsApp’s user base to be very attractive.
WhatsApp’s Dangerous Evolution
After the departure of its original founders, under the new ownership of Zuckerberg, WhatsApp was quickly incorporated into the fold of Facebook’s business model. Unfortunately, the base premise of Facebook’s business model has always been to mine customer data as a means to push its own revenue model through advertising. After the initial acquisition, Facebook announced its plan to integrate all of its consumer messaging platforms including Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, to allow for secure, unified messaging across the applications.
Facebook’s massive user base is undoubtedly attractive for businesses who have become increasingly more interested in leveraging these messaging platforms as a means to communicate directly with consumers. However, it is becoming increasingly obvious to Facebook’s business and consumer user base that the company provides no promise of privacy and it’s been made clear by Facebook that their intention is to leverage its existing business model to propagate advertising utilizing WhatsApp user’s data.
WhatsApp’s Threat to the Enterprise
Mobile messaging in the workplace became immensely popular even before WhatsApp made its debut. The acceleration of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in the workplace was fueled by employees’ need for fast, instantaneous communication. When WhatsApp launched it did an exceptional job providing feature functionality and ease of use with a promise of end-to-end encryption, which accelerated its proliferation of the enterprise.
Ditch WhatsApp: Equip Your Workforce with NetSfere
WhatsApp has always promised end-to-end encryption of the conversations transmitted across its platform, but they have been very quiet about what happens to your information as it rests within WhatsApp’s server. With WhatsApp’s ties to Facebook, which is known to abuse user data, we know that the company was ultimately mining that data as a means to monetize the user base.
NetSfere takes an enterprise-friendly approach to secure, controlled, compliant and collaborative mobile messaging for the workplace. NetSfere offers contextual, relevant, instantaneous messaging, voice and video communications that are regulatory compliant and encrypted in real-time. The platform is deployed and fully controlled by an enterprise IT organization across a public or private cloud implementation ensuring security of all proprietary data while remaining regulatory compliant. NetSfere’s feature functionality is by far superior to any other consumer and enterprise-grade platform on the market and can easily be deployed to thousands of end users in a matter of minutes to provide a friction-free user experience that parallels and even improves the WhatsApp experience.
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