Issue 19: January 22, 2021

From the Secondary Principal

Dear parents,

In the secondary school our teachers are encouraged to create units of instruction, lesson plans, and assessments that are connected to real world, authentic problems, and unfamiliar situations. I am pleased to present to you an article written by Rachel Gyuha Son in Mr. Squiers’s English Language Arts “Composition: Non-fiction Writing” class. I encourage you to read the article and become more familiar with new terms and conditions related to the software application, WhatsApp. Thank you, Rachel!

WhatsApp has updated its terms of use regarding its privacy policy and the new announcement has caused much confusion among its users. This article will show you what has been changed, why many people are concerned, and why you should be aware.

On January 6th, WhatsApp announced that they will share user data with Facebook and third parties: “WhatsApp shares information with the other Facebook Companies. … they may use the information we share with them (Privacy Policy).” This change, which integrates two companies more closely, draws heavy concerns and even criticism from many users because WhatsApp removed a choice of opt-out. When Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2016, WhatsApp started sharing user data with Facebook but provided users an option to opt out for a month; the company respected those who chose to opt out at that time. However, now they require users to agree on the terms, which is about data sharing with Facebook, to keep using the app. If they don’t, they will lose their access to their accounts.

As many users started moving to other applications like Signal and Telegram — which provides better security — after the announcement, WhatsApp has clarified its updated policy to reassure users: all WhatsApp chats are secure and cannot be read by the platform. However, this clarification does not address the main problem: sharing user data with Facebook. Neither Facebook and WhatsApp can read your conversations with your friends because of end-to-end encryption for messages (WhatsApp). Then, why are people concerned about this issue? It’s because of metadata, “a powerful data source”. Metadata does not show you the actual content of the chat, but it still provides a lot of data linked to you, such as location, contacts, and identifiers, meaning that WhatsApp can read everything but the actual chat (Muslimi).

Now, another question arises. What will WhatsApp and Facebook do with your data, and why are people concerned? According to WhatsApp’s privacy policy, they will share user data to “operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings”. Clearly, there will be advantages coming from data sharing as well since the companies will improve their service a lot more conveniently and usefully, using data collection. However, you need to be concerned and aware of this issue because how user data can be used and what they can achieve with that are unknown; a lot of things can be done without your actual consent. Facebook is most likely to use user data to generate revenue; they want to “serve more targeted ads to people on Facebook and Instagram” by knowing users’ usage habits on WhatsApp (Bloomberg). As the company has a record of privacy issues — the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal being one example that severely impacted its credibility— many people worry about the possibility that the company can affect users’ decisions without them knowing about it.

Lastly, the company’s vague attitude toward its policy makes people even more alarmed and concerned. As this issue has gotten so controversial and brought confusion, WhatsApp has posted an FAQ for clarification and moved forward the date to accept the changed policy to May 15. However, the clarification was not clear but contradicts its own privacy policy, making people even more confused. For instance, the FAQ says that WhatsApp “doesn’t see users’ share location and neither does it share that with Facebook but the somewhat vague legalese in the Policy document says that it can do both” (Torres). The point that WhatsApp is not tackling the main issue is enough to foment public distrust about its changed privacy policy.

Lastly, the company’s vague attitude toward its policy makes people even more alarmed and concerned. As this issue has gotten so controversial and brought confusion, WhatsApp has posted an FAQ for clarification and moved forward the date to accept the changed policy to May 15. However, the clarification was not clear but contradicts its own privacy policy, making people even more confused. For instance, the FAQ says that WhatsApp “doesn’t see users’ share location and neither does it share that with Facebook but the somewhat vague legalese in the Policy document says that it can do both” (Torres). The point that WhatsApp is not tackling the main issue is enough to foment public distrust about its changed privacy policy.

This recent issue about WhatsApp and its privacy policy changes illuminates the importance of knowing how our data can be used. A lot of people were not really aware of what can be achieved by using users’ data and what kind of data the platforms collect before this change. We as WhatsApp users should be aware about the possible consequences coming from clicking the “agree” button: insensitively pressing the consent button should be avoided.

Work Cited

From the Guidance Counselor Office

Congratulations to Deo Sinaga, Ezra Thomas & Oliver Gunthorpe!

  • Deo was accepted to Penn State University & Wheaton College in the United States.
  • Ezra was accepted to Houghton College in the United States.
  • Oliver was accepted to Wheaton College in the United States.

Make sure to congratulate them when you see them around… your Google Meet.

Important Update from College Board about SAT

College Board is making some adjustments to the SAT test. Please make note that

  • SAT Subject Tests: Will no longer be offered after June 2021
  • SAT with Essay: The essay portion of the SAT will be discontinued after May 2021

Please see this article by the College Board for more information about their recommendation for replacements to the SAT Subject Test.

Upcoming Virtual Events

This is an amazingly unique time to be looking for post-secondary schools. Normally schools want students to come to their campus to tour and learn more but one of the perks of the current worldwide situation is the availability of virtual university tours and webinars. I encourage you to look around, check out the schools, and begin learning what your options are!

Be sure to check out the Upcoming Virtual Events to see what is coming up! The Google Doc is updated almost daily.

Marketing Team News

Dear Community,

I want to thank everyone for supporting the marketing team this year, whether through word of mouth; telling family and friends about our school, or through social media posts. However, we are still in need of your help and support. Since we are not able to do any face to face marketing events, we are increasing our social media marketing and creating an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for our website.

To increase our visibility in various search engines (i.e. Google, Bing, etc.) we need your help to rate our school. Please take a minute to rate our school by following this link: g.page/baisedu/review

In the review we need words such as:

  • Best International school in Bandung
  • International School with best facilities
  • Best International education for our children
  • International school with native-English speakers
  • Highly qualified teachers

Those are just a few samples that will help our SEO. Thank you so much for all of your help to make BAIS known all over Indonesia and the world.

Cheers!
Marketing Team

Science Class News

Come join The Made to Change Club and make snow at home! Made to Change is a student-led organization that wants to provide young learners with the opportunity to experience fun, interactive learning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The club’s motto is learn, explore, and create. Through several hands-on labs led online, our club hopes that we encourage academic exploration within young learners.

Drama Announcement

Hello All Thespians!

There is an important survey that has been sent out via email and is also linked here. We need all parents of drama students to please fill it out. This is for both the elementary participants as well as the secondary participants. Please fill in the before Monday, Jan 25. Thank you!

Wednesday, Jan 27 – ON-CAMPUS Practice 4:15 – 6:15 plus clean-up

Mrs. Loewen does not need vocal recording if you are not on campus anymore. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the hard work you all put in at home for these last months. It had paid off and your songs are sounding great!

Who: All people in Sound/Lights; Ollie; Emily; Mia; Simeon; Josh; Mael; Jinny; Kezia; Eliza; Ezra; Samantha; Kathlyn; Ella; Kai; Sandor; Zach; RyAnne; Sein; Jace

What: Scene 6; Choreography; Vulgarian Songs; Family Songs

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