WhatsApp, mobile app

Turkey to investigate new terms of use for WhatsApp and Facebook

The new terms of use for WhatsApp require accepting that Facebook and its companies collect private data, including user’s phone numbers.

The Turkish Competition Agency (RK) announced on Monday the launch of an investigation into WhatsApp and its owner, Facebook, after the popular mobile messaging application announced its new conditions of use, in which it obliges users to users to agree to the collection of private data such as phone numbers and locations if they want to continue using it.

In a statement, the RK informs that until the investigation is fully completed, the application of the new terms of use of WhatsApp should be suspended. However, many users around the world and also in Turkey are opting for alternative and more private messaging apps as a result of WhatsApp announcing its new terms of use.

On social media such as Twitter, tens of thousands of users in Turkey announced that they would delete WhatsApp before accepting the new terms of use and would start using alternative messaging applications such as Telegram or Signal, the latter developed by a non-profit organisation and supported by Elon Musk himself.

Turks switch to alternative apps like BiP or Dedi

In Turkey, other locally developed applications such as BiP or Dedi are also becoming very popular, and have seen a record increase in users in recent days, especially after WhatsApp users were encouraged by the office of the Turkish Presidency itself to use these Turkish applications to hot accept the new conditions of WhatsApp, and to avoid risks to national security, too.

In the case of BiP, a mobile application developed by the Turkish telecommunications giant Turkcell, the number of users in Turkey increased in just 24 hours by 1.12 million, according to data provided by the company.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, announced last week that its users must accept its new terms of use before next February 8 or else their account will be cancelled; among the new terms of use – which appear in a pop-up window in the app – is the explicit consent of users to allow Facebook and its subsidiaries to collect personal data from WhatsApp, including phone numbers of users and their contacts, and their locations.