Configuring privacy settings in mainstream applications (e.g. WhatsApp)

I would consider this to be out of scope for the site, personally. At this point I simply do not see the value in educating people on how to use non-private services like WhatsApp “privately,” when such a task is in fact not truly possible. I consider placing trust in supposed security layers like WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption actively harmful in the sense that it creates a false sense of security for its users (as evidenced by the number of people who recommend WhatsApp over alternative messengers due to this feature).

When companies like Meta add (typically half-baked) features like end-to-end encryption and encrypted backups while simultaneously ignoring protection of critical details like metadata, and add built-in features which defeat security benefits like E2EE anyways, they are attempting to create an illusion of privacy and security as a marketing point, and when those security features are not on by default (e.g. encrypted backups) they are attempting to worsen the public perception of security features, so that people give up and accept whatever Meta wants them to do.

Nobody wants to complete a personal privacy audit on every single website they visit. This is an exercise in choice architecture, designed to make you take the easy route out instead of delving into a maze of configuration options that don’t need to exist in the first place.

Control over your privacy inside most apps is an illusion. It’s a shiny dashboard with all sorts of choices you can make about your data, but rarely the choices you’re looking for, like “only use my data to help me.” This type of control is meant to make you feel guilty about your choices, that you “had the choice” to make the apps you use more private, and you chose not to.

The only exception to this is when we can recommend layering a user-controlled, private solution on top of a non-private platform, for example: using Cryptomator with Google Drive.

So anyways, I’m gonna tentatively mark this suggestion as rejected, but we’re open to further discussion here too if you/anyone disagrees.