Thursday 21 January 2021
News ID: 86476
Publish Date: 11 January 2021 - 21:08
ANKARA (Dispatches) – 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, 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.
Whatsapp on Thursday asked its users to agree to its new privacy policy, which would allow it to share more data with parent company Facebook, or lose access to the app.
The update sparked criticism as it forces the messaging app’s nearly two billion users to agree to the breach of their private and possibly sensitive data.
Ali Taha Koc, head of the Turkish Presidential Digital Transformation Office, on Saturday decried the new terms of services as well as the announced exemption of users in the UK and EU from the new data-sharing changes.
"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,” he tweeted.
"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.”
In July, the Turkish parliament passed a law that required social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter to ensure they have representatives in Turkey or face fines and a reduction of internet bandwidth.
Turkey fined companies, including WhatsApp owner Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, in November and December for not complying with the law.

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