Corporate (mis)use of WhatsApp

 

WhatsApp is brilliant!

It’s simple, fast and so pervasive – I use it chronically.

It’s especially good when getting the shopping list from my wife or sharing a joke with one of my many friends groups…

Recently there’s been a lot of talk about WhatsApp and corporate data going around …and maybe in a corporate environment, it might not be the best idea to use WhatsApp for communications.

Here are couple of potential risks we see with the use of WhatsApp in the corporate environment:

1. The potential for data protection law infringement where WhatsApp’s terms are in breach of data protection laws in certain countries.

2. The system not meeting Regulatory Compliance requirements such as HIPPAA or SOX with regards to some technical requirements.

3. WhatsApp states in their terms that the app may be used for personal use only and if your enterprise uses WhatsApp for business purposes, this is in contravention of that agreement.

4. Loss of confidential business data in the event of a device being lost or compromised.

5. Lack of business process / workflow integration where the messaging system operates independently of other systems such as CRM, Accounting, HR, logistics and many more.

6. WhatsApp license states that: “Your License to WhatsApp. In order to operate and provide our Services, you grant WhatsApp a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works of, display, and perform the information (including the content) that you upload, submit, store, send, or receive on or through our Services.”

Source: https://www.whatsapp.com/legal/

 

So we’re not speculating about the “Trumpagenda”, Facebook data sharing or government interception. We think that WhatsApp is an awesome tool if used for the correct purposes. Corporate communications is (for the time being) just not one of them.