WHATSAPP FOR BUSINESS?
Personally, I enjoy using WhatsApp. It’s functional, intuitive, and has a range of powerful features. You can message several people at the same time, send voice messages, share photos, music, and documents. As long as you have a stable Wi-Fi connection, you can call or videocall someone in another country. And best of all, its for free! It sound like a perfect business communications tool, doesn’t it? It’s not. Here what the experts say:
DON’T USE WHATSAPP FOR BUSINESS!
Dr. Ajunwa, Assistant Professor of Labour and Employment Law at Cornell University has this to say:
“Employers should have an official policy banning employees from using ephemeral messaging apps for specifically business-related communications. Allowing employees to use disappearing-message apps for business communications opens the employer to unnecessary liability.”
A recent Wall Street Journal article provides consensus from a group of experts in cybersecurity, data compliance and privacy, and labour law, who all say the same thing about WhatsApp for business – just don’t do it!
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T USE WHATSAPP
There are some compelling reasons for not using WhatsApp as a business communications tool. Here are 6 of them:
- WhatsApp prohibits business use and its Terms of Service stipulate that “You will not use (or assist others in using) our Services in ways that:(f) involve any non-personal use of our Services unless otherwise authorized by us.”
- WhatsApp is not GDPR compliant
- Backups of WhatsApp are not encrypted and neither are exports of chats
- WhatsApp gives you little control over keeping records of business communications – by design, Facebook has committed WhatsApp to encryption, which supports secrecy and anonymity.
- Your account can be terminated at any time. Again, the WhatsApp Terms of Service confirms: “WhatsApp reserves the right to modify, suspend or terminate service for any reason without prior notice, at our sole discretion.”
- This is a big one – since WhatsApp data is stored on an individual’s phone, you can never revoke access to it. If an employee leaves, you can remove them from a WhatsApp Group, but all the messages they received and sent whilst in the group, including potentially sensitive data, will remain on their phone. There’s nothing you can do about it.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
While WhatsApp is perfect for personal communication, you need to err on the side of caution when using it for business. Put simply, don’t use it – unless you want your data stolen and your business reputation compromised. Rather go for Microsoft Teams or Slack as online collaboration tools. I know the ins and outs of data protection and GDPR compliance. I’m here to help you keep your data and your business secure. Get in touch when you’re ready.