Category Archives: E-Business

WhatsApp gives in, halts rollout of controversial update

WhatsApp will halt the rollout of its controversial new update amid protests from users.

People will now have three extra months to agree to its new rules, the company said.

And WhatsApp has committed to try and distribute more information about the rules in advance of the deadline in the hope of dispelling what it says is “misinformation”.

Users had originally been told they had to agree to the new rules by 8 February, or face having their accounts suspended or deleted.

Instead, users will have until 15 May before they are forced to agree to the rules, in the hope that they can “review the policy at their own pace”.

In the meantime, the company will “do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp”.

WhatsApp’s privacy policy began being pushed out to users in recent months and caused concern that it would be sharing more information with Facebook.

The company says that the new policy does not “expand our ability to share data with Facebook”, and that it is instead focused on its new business updates, which allow companies to host their shops on Facebook and communicate with users through WhatsApp. As such, the new rules do mention Facebook but primarily because communications with those businesses may be hosted on its servers.

But that has nonetheless led to a flurry of concerns that information and personal data from WhatsApp is being shared with Facebook.

That in turn has meant that users have rushed to competing apps such as Signal and Telegram, in pursuit of what they perceive to be better security and privacy.

In its announcement, WhatsApp suggested that those concerns were rooted in “confusion” and “misinformation”.

“We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update,” it said in the blog post that revealed the delay. “There’s been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts.

“WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages. It’s why we don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook.”

Facebook, Twitter lose $51bn in value after booting out President Trump

Facebook and Twitter , the two largest social media platforms to permanently ban President Donald Trump for his role in last week’s Capitol riots, saw $51.2 billion in combined market value erased over the last two trading sessions.

Companies across sectors have responded to the president’s rhetoric in recent days by pausing political donations, making statements decrying his inflammatory remarks, and pulling products with links to right-wing movements.

Facebook and Twitter possibly took the biggest retaliatory steps when they indefinitely banned Trump from their platforms on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Both companies cited the risk of additional violence for their bans, but investors largely balked at the action. Facebook tumbled 4% on Monday and another 2.2% on Tuesday as shareholders dumped the stock, likely fearing the ban could drive users off the platform. By the time markets closed on Tuesday, Facebook’s market cap sat $47.6 billion below its Friday level.

Twitter plunged 6.4% to start the week and dipped another 2.4% as the sell-off continued into Tuesday’s close. The declines saw Twitter’s market cap drop by $3.5 billion.

To be sure, Twitter rose as much as 2.9% on Wednesday while Facebook wavered at its previous closing level. And analysts haven’t lowered the stocks’ median price targets following the bans, signaling the slides were likely knee-jerk reactions that will reverse over time.

Other tech giants responding to last week’s insurrection have fared better through the week. Apple and Google have both climbed slightly since announcing after Friday’s close they would remove right-wing social network Parler from their app stores. Amazon shares are up 1.6% since announcing on Sunday that it kicked Parler off of its web hosting service.

Still, the actions could come back to bite tech companies in the final week of Trump’s presidency. CNN reported on Monday that Trump might retaliate against tech giants for their bans. It’s not yet clear what the president’s actions would look like and if they will materialize before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

Facebook traded at $251.70 per share as of 10:25 a.m. ET Wednesday, down roughly 8% year-to-date.

Twitter traded at $47.94 per share, down 12% year-to-date.

Telegram chief says 25 million new users joined the platform in last 3 days

Telegram is a popular social media platform in a number of countries and is used both for private communications and sharing information and news.

The encrypted messaging app Telegram has registered 25 million new users in the past 72 hours, its Russia-born founder Pavel Durov said Tuesday, on the heels of WhatsApp announcing a change to its privacy terms.

Durov, 36, said on his Telegram channel that the app had over 500 million monthly active users in the first weeks of January and “25 million new users joined Telegram in the last 72 hours alone”.

The surge in downloads comes after WhatsApp, which boasts over two billion users, introduced controversial changes to its privacy conditions that will allow it to share more data with its parent company Facebook.

“People no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services,” Durov said without directly referring to the rival app.

WhatsApps’s new terms sparked criticism as users outside Europe who do not accept the new conditions before February 8 will be cut off from the messaging app.

Telegram is a popular social media platform in a number of countries, particularly in the former Soviet Union and Iran, and is used both for private communications and sharing information and news.

Durov on Tuesday said Telegram has become the “largest refuge” for those seeking a private and secure communications platform and assured new users that his team “takes this responsibility very seriously”.

Telegram was founded in 2013 by brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, who also founded Russia’s social media network VKontakte.

Telegram refuses to cooperate with authorities and handover encryption keys, which resulted in its ban in several countries, including Russia.

Last year, Russia announced that it will lift its ban on the messenger app after more than two years of unsuccessful attempts to block it.

Why millions of users are dumping Whatsapp for Telegram, Signal, others

A new privacy policy by the popular social media platform, Whatsapp, is triggering an exodus of users to other less popular but equally functional platforms such as Telegram, Signal, among others.

Technology experts say if this is addressed, it could lead millions of users away from WhatsApp.

The new privacy policy which comes into force from February 8, allows WhatsApp and Facebook to share user information with businesses and third-party service providers that transact on these platforms.

Whatsapp in its new ‘Terms of Service’ which the users are expected to agree to says “…as part of the Facebook companies, Whatsapp receives information from and shares information with the Facebook Companies as described in Whatsapp’s privacy policy including to provide integrations which enable you to connect your Whatsapp experience with other Facebook company products; to ensure security, safety, and integrity across the Facebook company products; and to improve your ads and products experience across the Facebook Company products.”

Since its release days ago, the policy has been generating reactions from Whatsapp users in Nigeria and all over the world. But that is coming from those who took their time to read the terms as many users would hurriedly click ‘Agree’ without reading the content of the agreement.

Should you worry?

Though WhatsApp has been collecting data from its users since its inception, the new policy is about integrating the database with Facebook, which could on a future date resort to targeted advertising and political campaigns based on user information.

Also, it raises privacy concerns as it plans to monetise the user data.

Besides the device information and location data, the platform also collects information like messaging data, calling, status, groups (including group name, group picture, group description), payments or business feature, profile photo, whether you are online or not among others details.

It now wants users to share the phone number, IP address, mobile service provider, and browsing information with Facebook.

The new terms and conditions also say that if a user uses a data backup service integrated with WhatsApp (like iCloud, Google Drive), he/she will receive information such as your WhatsApp messages, the content of in-app players, your payment and transaction information, shipping details and transaction amount (if using WhatsApp Pay).

For now, the company has said it “still” does not allow third-party banner ads on their services and has no intention to introduce them, but it hinted at introducing the feature in the future. “If we ever do, we will update this privacy policy,” the company stated in the policy.

Here are five alternatives of Whatsapp that you can use

Telegram: The cloud-based messaging app offers end-to-end encryption for both messages and voice calls. Users can send up to 1.5GB of files and add up to 200, 000 users in a group. It is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, Windows NT, macOS and Linux based operating systems.

Signal: It is available on Android and iOS. Unlike WhatsApp, the Signal Private Messenger app is also available on the iPad, and users can also download and install the Signal app on Windows, Linux and Mac, like WhatsApp.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also advised people to “Use Signal”. After his suggestion, Signal beat WhatsApp to become the top free app on App Store in India, Germany, France, Austria, Finland, Hong Kong, and Switzerland.

Viber: With Viber users will have access to unlimited calls, endless texting and high-quality video chat.

Threema: The messaging app from Switzerland provides end-to-end encryption for all messages. Threema uses the trusted open source NaCl cryptography library for encryption.

Element: Element also gives end-to-end encryption for text, voice, videos Messages. It works with Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and major browsers.

Turkey Presidency quits WhatsApp, switches to local app BiP over privacy change

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s media office says it is quitting WhatsApp after the messaging app’s move to oblige many of its users to agree to a controversial new privacy policy.

In statements made through WhatsApp on Sunday, presidency officials said that media office will update journalists via BiP, a unit of Turkish communication company Turkcell, from Monday.

Following WhatsApp’s forced update in its privacy policy this week, users in Turkey have objected to it on Twitter with the hashtag #DeletingWhatsapp.

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

Alternations made to WhatsApp’s terms and services will be effective from February 8 and they will allow it to share data with parent company Facebook and its other subsidiaries.

Users have to agree to the new terms in order to be able to keep using the application after the deadline.

On Saturday, Ali Taha Koc, head of the Turkish Presidential Digital Transformation Office, criticised WhatsApp’s new terms of services and the exemption from the new data-sharing rules for users in the United Kingdom and the European Union.

He called on Turks to use “national and local” apps such as BiP and Dedi.

“The distinction between EU member countries and others in terms of data privacy is unacceptable! As we have cited in the Information and Communication Security Guideline, foreign origin applications bear significant risks regarding data security,” Koc said in a tweet.

“That’s why we need to protect our digital data with local and national software and develop them in line with our needs. Let’s not forget that Turkey’s data would stay in Turkey thanks to local and national solutions.”

New rules
The firm said the updated terms will allow 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.

Facebook aims to monetise WhatsApp by allowing businesses to contact their clients via the platform and to sell them products directly using the service, as they already do in India.

Facebook has come under increasing pressure from regulators as it tries to integrate its services.

In 2017, the EU fined the US social media giant 110 million euros (then $120m) for providing incorrect and misleading information about its 2014 takeover of WhatsApp concerning the ability to link accounts between the services.

Federal and state regulators in the US have accused Facebook of using its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram to crush competition and filed antitrust lawsuits last month that aim to force the company to divest from them.

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

The new law, which came into effect in October, requires platforms with more than one million daily users in Turkey to appoint a representative accountable to Turkish courts, abide by orders to remove “offensive” content within 48 hours and store user data inside Turkey.

Trump gets 2m followers under 24hrs on Parler social app, after Facebook, Instagram blocks him indefinitely

After Facebook and Instagram blocked President Donald Trump of the United States, following an attack on Capitol Hill, his Parler account has recieved a major boost, as over 2 million people joined the social media platform just to follow him.

Parler downloads in the United States began to grow in November 2020 following the declaration of Joe Biden as president-elect.

Parler is a relatively new social media platform that is almost identical to Twitter in look and function.

Users can make posts called parleys (rather than tweets) and others can “echo” them (its version of retweeting).

You can follow people, like and comment on their posts, and send them direct messages.

After originally planning to block President Donald Trump from posting to his Facebook and Instagram account for 24 hours, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that the blocks have been extended “indefinitely.”

“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post Thursday. “Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

MBA forex allegedly crashes as founder reportedly moves family out of Port Harcourt

Investors in front of the locked office this morning

As pressure continues to mount on MBA forex trading trading and capital investment limited to pay thousands of investors their due Return On Investment for November and December, sources say the founder of the scheme, Maxwell Weli Odum has moved his family out of Port Harcourt.

Earlier reports had revealed that the scheme has crashed due to the company’s inability to meet up with its financial responsibilities to its thousands of investors.

The investors who are owed two months ROI have besieged the company’s offices in different towns to demand for their money back.

The company has since employed a delay tactics, claiming to have migrated to a new platform which caused its inability to pay. Other times, it claimed its funds were seized by banks. The claims have created panic, with investors longing for their money, especially as Christmas holidays approach.

But sources said the scheme has crashed while the founder has moved his family out of Port Harcourt due to fears that angry investors would attack them.

The Port City News

Zucked: United States government wants to break up Facebook

Less than 2 months ago, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) smacked Google with an antitrust case.

In perhaps the greatest “hold my beer” ever, another government agency — the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) — just launched an antitrust case of its own against Facebook.

And, unlike the Google case, this case is aiming for a breakup of its Big Tech target, according to the New York Times.
More than 40 states will join in on the lawsuit.

The meat of the case concerns Facebook’s history of buying on-the-rise social apps and snuffing out future competition.

Of particular note are Facebook’s acquisitions of:
Instagram for $1B in 2012
WhatsApp for $19B 2014
Today, Facebook is a $790B+ behemoth with annual revenue of $80B+ and 4 products that boast 1B+ users: Facebook (2.7B), WhatsApp (2B), Messenger (1.3B), Instagram (1.1B).

Few major antitrust cases have tried to unwind previous mergers.

One of Facebook’s defenses is the very fact that the FTC approved these mergers years ago.

Facebook further contends that without its infrastructure and social expertise, the likes of Instagram and WhatsApp would not have seen the same growth.

In more recent years, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has latched onto TikTok as an argument against a breakup of Facebook:

First, the video app’s hockey stick rise proves that social media remains competitive.
Second, Facebook is a defense against the rise of social apps from China, a country which has a “dangerous” approach to internet regulation, according to Zuckerberg.

Prosecutors want to break up Facebook and block future deals.

These are “some of the most severe penalties regulators can demand” according to the New York Times.

The case — which took 18 months to put together — will likely take years to resolve.

Somewhat ironically, Facebook announced a $1B acquisition of chatbot startup Kustomer last week.

If the FTC wins this deal, the period of freewheeling Big Tech M&A may come to an end.

The Hustle

#EndSARS: Anonymous Allegedly Hacks GTBank, Customers Receive N5,000

International hacktivist,
Anonymous is back in the headlines again after reportedly hacking GTBank and crediting its customers N5,000.

Customers of the bank made the disclosure on the Twitter platform.

Recall that DSTV and GOTV were allegedly hacked yesterday by the same group which made all paid channels free without subscription.

Earlier this morning, it was gathered that Anonymous distributed #1000 airtime after hacking Airtel regarding the #EndSARs protest.

See tweets below;

#EndSARS: Anonymous hacks Airtel, credits all users N1000 credit

Users of Airtel have come out to testify that Anonymous has hacked the Airtel network.

At the moment, over 10 users have told Jungle Journalist Media Limited that they have extra credit of N1000 at the moment.

Yesterday, Anonymous infiltrated DSTV and GOTV channels, providing users all the channels for free. DSTV was later able to recover its channels.