A statement issued by Turkcell stated that, within 3 days, more than 5 million new users subscribed to the locally developed “BIP” application, and that the number of subscribers continues to increase steadily.
But can the BIP app really replace a suitable alternative for users? Who is the category for which the application might be a suitable alternative to the WhatsApp application?
In the field of privacy, which is the most important area in this comparison, and upon reading the privacy terms of the Turkish application, we find that it collects a lot of information about users, and although it is mentioned that it is for the purposes of facilitating the provision of services, it also states that it shares this information with “other service providers and their partners.” It is clearly stated that they are used for “direct and indirect marketing” purposes.
So, Turkcell is by virtue of the fact that it is the parent company of the application as is the case for Facebook with WhatsApp, it has permission from the user to share his information with its commercial and technical partners.
But what information does the app collect?
Beeb app aggregates, according to Policy Privacy posted on his site, this amount of information:
- Identity and contact details: data such as your phone number, username (alias), avatar, GSM operator, passwords used to keep the app secure if it is available to verify identity and access the account.
- Usage information: technical data collected from your device through technical equipment, type of messages (text messages, video, etc.) and messages sent (without collecting any information about their content), active time, type of services used, usage habits related to the application interface and last access To the history of the application, errors and information about the error that occurred while using the application.
- Personalization information and surveys: alias, profile picture, status information, and blocked numbers. Data on the results of surveys conducted through the application.
- Location data: location data for users based on their device’s location settings (approx).
- Device data: data such as device model, device operating system, preferred phone language, information about the operator that users use, and country information.
- Usage information: data related to the type of communication (calls, instant messages …), duration, time, type, parties and contacts.
- BEP does not collect any data related to the content of your communications that take place through the application.
- Backup data: If the users request it, the contact data can be backed up by the BEP.
- Address Book Data: The contact list contains phone numbers and related details stored on the user’s device.
Of course, the list of information that Beeb collects is larger than WhatsApp, as it contains backup data, which are pictures and videos that can be stored as a backup on the system.
The difference between Beeb and WhatsApp is in the new WhatsApp terms that oblige users to link their account with Facebook, which can happen with Turkcell if you decide to link users who have accounts with the Turkish Telecom Company.
The use of the BIP application by the Turks may be politically acceptable as long as their information will be confined to their country and subject to its laws instead of being available to third parties. From this point of view, Atag Tansug, digital services officer at Turkcell and one of the developers of the BIP application, speaks.
Tansog emphasized that the application, which was developed locally about 7 years ago, can never access users’ data without their prior permission.
For his part, Bassam Shehadat, the software developer and head of the “P2” digital marketing company in Istanbul, stated to Al Jazeera Net that the Beeb app will have a strong competitive future at the level of Turkey. Help him topple WhatsApp locally, in the near future.
Beneficiaries of the application
The Turks who prefer that a Turkish company such as “Turkcell” keep their personal information and share it with commercial partners for marketing purposes on the condition that an American company such as Facebook use it for the same purposes is the most useful category that this application may benefit from.
As for all other groups, they must think heavily about the information they will share with the Turkish company, the parties that will benefit from this information, and decide whether they find it a suitable alternative for them.
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