In 2018, the European Union passed a new law for data protection. It brought a massive change to the existing Data Protection Directive. This new law, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), dictates how data is to be handled by companies and organizations. The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Scandal triggered the need to have robust data protection regulation, which strictly specifies the terms concerning user data was required.
The GDPR is a step in the right direction, although it does leave a considerable room for debate. Multiple discussions are required for the regulation to prevent organizations from using consumer data completely. European organizations since then have banned the use of GDPR non-compliant chat apps at work. Examples include the likes of WhatsApp, Telegram, Snapchat, and more.
So, what does the GDPR ensure for an average user?
- Access your data
- Removing your entire data
- You can choose how your data is used and rectify incorrect details
- You can object how your data is being processed and restrict it
- Your data can be subject for non-automated decisions
Companies like Continental banned the use of messenger apps after the GDPR was mandated, but this isn’t the first time firms are banning messenger apps. Deutsche Bank has done it in the past, as early as 2017. Volkswagen has banned chat apps for business use and relies on an internal messaging app. BMW only permits a limited number of authorized apps, which does not include WhatsApp.
However, GDPR compliance is not the only reason companies are shifting more and more from these apps. Commercial messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram may boast end-to-end encryption, the fact remains, they are mired in controversies. While WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook, itself has been in the papers for the largest breach and manipulation of personal data, Telegram’s security protocols are customized and not widely accepted by everyone in the business. Moreover, these apps lack productivity tools and shift the focus away from official channels of communication (emails, being an example). This leads to slack when it comes to private information being passed through proper channels. Additionally, these apps have already established that they can be easily hacked, despite companies claiming that they provide end-to-end encryption. Thus, the need of the hour is an app that not only complies with industry and security standards but also is designed for organizational communication.
A secure alternative comes in the form of Microsoft Kaizala. The app was made for office communications and is compliant with GDPR, ISO 27001, and HIPAA. In addition to media sharing (photos, videos, contacts), voice calls and video calls, Kaizala comes with practical features aimed at increasing workplace productivity. These include conducting polls, creating surveys, making announcements, and more. The enterprise-level security offered by Kaizala makes tampering of information very hard. The app helps businesses focus not only on the customer but also aids in employee engagement. The app sports discoverable nearby and public groups, a feature that harkens back to the old Yahoo Messenger app’s chat rooms, but of course with more functionality. Security is a major area of concern in 2019, and companies are not taking it lightly. With the emergence of strong data laws and alternatives, messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram are finding it hard to retain users and losing out to possible better alternatives like Kaizala. Time will bear witness to another saga and testify whether the older apps adapt or the newer guns overhaul the present market.