13 December, 2019 Marcel Merkx Marcel Merkx

Should you use WhatsApp in business?

Should you use WhatsApp in business?

Is your logistics data safe?

Earlier this week WhatsApp released an updated app that caused a bit of a stir on social media. Interestingly, the update really did not deliver anything new, nor did it break anything. It just made it very clear that WhatsApp is owned by Facebook in the opening ‘splash screen’. Nothing new, it has been part of Facebook since 2014.

Still, this update did not go unnoticed and maybe you wondered - like I did - “What does this actually mean for my use and data on the app?”. Facebook’s reputation is not spotless…

Facebook tries to put us at ease, boasting end-to-end encryption of all messages. But are there any exceptions to that? For one, as a US company some access to the US government may need to be granted. That may or may not concern you, but it may require some backdoors. But more importantly, while encryption goes a long way, the WhatsApp use terms contain the following cryptic message:

Our Services may allow you to access, use, or interact with third-party websites, apps, content, other products and services, and Facebook Company Products. […] When you use third-party services or Facebook Company Products, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services.

Now I am no lawyer or security expert, but there is the technical possibility that while the end-to-end encryption applies to WhatsApp, data can be accessed fully by another Facebook app. As for those other apps, different terms may apply; I do wonder if my data is safe.

What is CargoSnap’s take at it?

We also encrypt your data, in transit and rest. Still, that does not mean no-one can see the content; in fact the whole purpose of storing information in CargoSnap is to see and share the information, after all! So as you share data, it refers to the activity you initiate, as a CargoSnap user – not to us.

In fact, our abilities to use and share the data are rather simple, as you can read in our terms:

we will not sell or share any of the content

This means, you, the user of CargoSnap are in charge of your content and data.

Full disclosure: do I see WhatsApp as a CargoSnap competitor?

Well, ‘kinda’…. We do see companies using it. And I can get where that is coming from; it’s free, easy to use and installed on many phones. Still many users of the tool stop using it after seeing CargoSnap. For various reasons:

  • Productivity: CargoSnap was built for logistics, with built-in features such as the barcode/QR code scan, features for container and seals and highly structured forms. And what is more, CargoSnap allows users to create workflows to ensure all required data is captured for every file. Those features all are missing in a messaging app, really reducing both inspection and information retrieval speed and quality!
  • Productivity (2): Do you want your employees to use a tool that is highly distracting? (how many cat movies will be viewed during working hours? 😉).
  • Image quality: WhatsApp dramatically reduces the quality of images. That is fine when viewing an image on a mobile phone, but what if you need to zoom in on something specific? CargoSnap retains very high quality images. These images can be used in Shares and Reports, for a professional look and feel.
  • Control: Where does the data go, as users sharing an incident on WhatsApp between colleagues are just 2 clicks away from also sharing it outside of your company. Without any track/trace on who sees what.

We believe there are logical reasons why logistics companies use or start with WhatsApp, but usually find they are on a different level with CargoSnap functionally. With the concerns about what your data is used for, the balance may become clear.

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