WhatsApp CEO says Apple applies double standards to its own apps

Image Source: 9to5Mac

In a recent interview, WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart talked about competing with Apple’s iMessage and app privacy labels, Facebook’s battle with the iPhone-maker, WhatsApp’s controversial new privacy policy and more. 

Cathcart criticized Apple for applying double standards to its own apps when it comes to app privacy labels which the company rolled out in December 2020 to help iOS users better understand the use of data types that apps may collect.

“You don’t see a label for iMessage when you download it because you don’t download it, it’s on your phone to begin with. And so, we were critical of that.’’ said WhatsApp CEO during the podcast. ‘’It’s on their website if you can find it. But even there… Not to use this metaphor, but what’s apples to apples?’’ 

‘’We have payment information because we have an optional feature for you to use payments in India, if you want to. Apple has payment features and you can send a friend money through iMessage. Our label says we have payment information, iMessage’s doesn’t, what’s the difference? Why does ours say and theirs doesn’t?”

Meanwhile, the podcast was recorded before Apple created a new webpage on its official website where it lists all the user data required by its own apps. 

Will Cathcart was also asked about the ongoing battle between Facebook and Apple. Facebook CEO Zuckerberg recently said in a statement that Apple is one of Facebook’s biggest rivals. 

Also Read: Zuckerberg reportedly told his staff to ‘inflict pain’ on Apple

WhatsApp CEO said that Apple’s best interest is to ‘’have everyone using an iPhone” as “the messaging experience works better on iMessage if everyone else has an iPhone.” 

Cathcart said that he encounters problems & poor user experience when using iMessage on an Android device. He also added that Apple doesn’t want users to use apps like WhatsApp because the company doesn’t want people to use Android. 

In addition, he also talked about the controversial WhatsApp privacy policy which will mandate data sharing with Facebook and other Facebook apps. As the company will require users to accept the updated policy to continue using the app, users started searching for WhatsApp alternative apps such as Signal and Telegram

The deadline of the privacy policy was February 8th but later postponed to May 15th after receiving negative reaction. 

Cathcart said while the new privacy policy won’t affect personal messages, it will only affect communications with businesses. 

“This update does not change anything with the privacy of your personal messages, there’s no change in that.’’ said WhatsApp CEO. ‘’We do describe some new business features we’re building for people to communicate with businesses, if you want to. People don’t have to do that. People are in control if they want to.”

Written by Jordan Bevan


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