4 Ahmedabad schools quit WhatsApp

‘Security concerns’ drive four Ahmedabad schools to quit WhatsApp

January 13, 2021

In the wake of WhatsApp’s recent announcement about updating its terms of services and privacy policies soon, four Ahmedabad-based schools have decided to do away with the cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) service for online teaching due to “data security concerns”.

Udgam School For Children (USFC) Thaltej, Zebar School For Children (ZSFC) Thaltej, Satellite School For Children (SSFC), and Bodakdev School For Children (BFSC) — all associated with associated with Udgam Consultancy — have switched over to Microsoft Kaizala. On Tuesday, the school parents regarding the decision through e-mails and asked them to download the app and get started.

The four schools combined have around 243 different WhatsApp groups and close to 13,700 parents actively using this messaging platform, majorly run as ‘only admin can post’ groups.

Commenting on the decision to move to Microsoft’s secure messaging and work management app, Manan Choksi, executive director, Udgam School For Children said, “This popular app has now made it mandatory to accept new privacy norms. WhatsApp’s biggest problem is the lack of trust with its users since parent company Facebook faces severe criticism around the world with regards to privacy practices.”

Another concern the schools had with using WhatsApp was the easy accessibility of these school-parent WhatsApp groups to children, Choksi said adding that the decision to shift from WhatsApp to Microsoft Kaizala is also driven by the fact that the latter does not rely on advertisement for survival and is committed to protecting data privacy and security.

WhatsApp recently announced that it is updating its terms of service and privacy policies from February 8, 2021. Following a strong backlash from users over privacy concerns, the Facebook-owned messaging app has now issued a clarification that users’ privacy won’t be affected if they don’t use some of its optional features.

Source: The Indian Express

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