When Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, it was the largest deal ever for a venture-backed startup. The reason for the massive selling price was the worldwide phenomenon that WhatsApp was becoming. At the time of the acquisition WhatsApp had a half a billion monthly active users, which as of last month has grown to 900 million.
Though it was first intended to be a personal messaging app, employees have begun to use WhatsApp for business communication, work communication and enterprise communication. Because of WhatsApp’s price ($1 a year for unlimited messaging) and ease of use, it’s an attractive tool for frontline employees.
However, there are MANY reasons why using WhatsApp to exchange business information is a very bad idea. In fact, you might want to show this post to your employees to keep your internal communications safe and secure.
Safe Business Communications: WhatsApp’s Data Privacy Record Is Abysmal
In 2015, WhatsApp was ranked last by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for its failure to protect their users’ data privacy. Even more, the European Court of Justice ruled that US tech companies, specifically Facebook, do not provide an adequate level of protection of personal data for their European users.
If your employees are using WhatsApp for business communication using their personal mobile devices, they are exposing your company to serious data breaches and security risks.
In spite of all the legal, ethical, and personal risks associated with using WhatsApp for workplace communications, employees still do it every day.
According to a recent white paper by Google,
“If not given company-approved cloud tools, frontline workers may risk company and data security and regulatory compliance to use their own. Fifty-three percent of frontline workers use messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger up to six times a day for work-related reasons, but 68% of them said they’d stop if given approved internal communication tools.”
WhatsApp Group Messaging Is Impossible to Manage
WhatsApp groups are limited to only 100 people, so if you’re running a large company it’s impossible to communicate to large teams or departments.
User management for WhatsApp becomes a massive issue for management and HR. If a person in a chat changes their phone number, and they aren’t removed from the WhatsApp chats they’re in, the new owner of the old phone number will continue to receive all messages from chats.
See what we mean by a lack of security? Even more, you can’t control who has access to group chats, whoever creates them does, so they’re difficult to manage. Plus, if your employees don’t want to share their private number with colleagues, then they won’t be able to join work chat groups on their mobile phones.
Additionally, if an employee leaves the company, there’s practically no quick way to remove them from the WhatsApp group, which means they’ll still have access to sensitive business information even after they’ve terminated employment.
Why You Need a GDPR-Compliant Communication Tool
“Executives now face a sprint of thorough internal evaluations to revamp policies around collection, storage, or usage of EU resident personal data. The financial implications of breaching GDPR are astronomical. We recommend mapping all data assets and appointing dedicated Data Protection personnel on a full-time or contract basis to properly oversee the adoption of high-caliber data protection processes and technologies.”
–Dr. Amir Ameri, Global Head of Risk & Compliance & Data Protection Officer, Beekeeper
The new GDPR regulations affect your internal communications more than you think. The internet tech giant, Google has already been fined 50 million Euros because the company failed to provide adequate information to its users about its data consent policies.
How you handle personal data is under more scrutiny than ever, and companies who are caught still using outdated, non-compliant communication tools like What’sApp will have to pay a hefty fine. Avoid the trouble, and use a secure, GDPR-compliant tool like Beekeeper and save yourself and your team from facing a showdown with government regulators. Yikes!
Pillars of Internal Communications Security
Are you in interested in a secure solution for reaching and engaging everyone in your organization? Get in touch with us to find out more about Beekeeper – communication tool for teams, and we’ll be more than happy to show you how you can engage your employees on any device in a simple and cost-effective way.