Planned changes to WhatsApp privacy terms has stirred up quite a frenzy. In this feature, we explore why this needs to be on the radar for internal communicators and why this is a good time to be thinking of auditing your internal communication channels.

In case you missed it, this week WhatsApp announced that from the 8th February, all 2 billion users will be forced to agree to new privacy terms set by the Facebook-owned firm. These new rules include how WhatsApp will share information with Facebook and how this information might be used.

Understandably, this has been met with a considerable amount of concern. Not least because WhatsApp has always been upheld for its commitment to security and privacy due to its encrypted conversations.

Whether your organisation uses WhatsApp for customer service or not, for communicators, the firm’s attempt at clarifying what these changes mean – and to who – is not as simple.

In the midst of increasing social polarisation, we know there has been a shift in consumers actively seeking ethical, purpose-driven organisations. The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer also published this week revealed that by some considerable margin, Business is the most trusted institution. And trust is gained by delivering on promises and ethical behaviour.

In this piece, we discuss whether it’s now time for us to think seriously about their internal application.

Jonathan Phillips, Head of Consulting at simplycommunicate said: “It’s a hard conversation to have as there are so many open questions. Foremost, it’s not possible to know exactly how information, or what information, is being shared. The emphasis for our internal communications community needs to be on helping people understand the drawbacks and potential impact on what using shadow communications tools can have on the business”.

It is our view that it’s only a matter of time before we’ll feel the impact at scale. The desire for access to personal information and data is growing and becoming a high-value currency. Shadow IT and communication channels are likely to become a prime target for security compromises. If there is one thing we’ve learnt over the last year, that is the unpredictability of what can happen overnight and it would pay for us to stay one step ahead. It is now time for us to properly lift the lid of our internal social channels.

simplycommunity members can read the article in full here.

THE AUTHOR

Lisa Pantelli, head of content & community

Lisa is simply’s head of content and community. She is an award-winning employee engagement and internal communications specialist.

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