As Facebook announces the rebranding of WhatsApp and Instagram, the risks businesses are taking when using WhatsApp for work become clearer. Your mined corporate data places you as an advertising target.
We all kind of know it already - and the answers as to 'why?' range from "this is what our customers want to use" to "it is just more fun/easy" and even "if it breaks, we'll fix it". We've heard them all.
So lets just take a moment to understand the difference between communicating with WhatsApp, Facebook's unsanctioned and advertising-driven tool, and Wire:
Not only does the use of WhatsApp put your data at risk - it also leaves an impression on your brand and the way business is conducted. This is how you prove you take client confidentiality seriously - that you honor privacy and non-disclosures.
There is limited purpose in having "GDPR-compliant" as part of your sales pitch to then follow up on WhatsApp - or being rigorous about legal hold regulations and then use an unvetted application for communication.
Obviously the difference in cost for putting in place a real sanctioned messenger solution is more expensive on the outset - but the business risk added with using unsanctioned tools can ultimately be an expensive clean-up. One company who realized this early on is Continental - banning WhatsApp entirely to protect themselves against any GDPR violation and corporate dataleaks.
With that information in plain sight, it ultimately comes down to one thing: if your employees, customers, partners want to use an unsanctioned communication tool because it is just easier -offer them a tool that serves the same purpose without turning your corporate data into public information. Think about it this way, would you share confidential information through Facebook?