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Usage of Whatsapp as Data Link Legality?

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Usage of Whatsapp as Data Link Legality?

Old 12th Sep 2023, 17:08
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Angry Usage of Whatsapp as Data Link Legality?

Hello all,

I am currently working at a cargo airline that uses Whatsapp as a method of data sharing (load and trim sheet) to Pilots personal device (not EFB Hardware). Just wondering if you have any takes on the legality or regulation to this matter?

This is what our procedure roughly like:
1. Warehouse send load manifest to our OCC by whatsapp
2. FOO in OCC will then calculate load and trim sheet form which then send to pilot on the aircraft through whatsapp.
3. Pilot then have to copy load and trim sheet form which was produced by OCC into an empty load and trim sheet form.

We currently do not have ACARS, our own load controller, FOO on Board nor FOO on the ground. This procedure seems to be very risky though I do not have enough supporting documents to counter this argumentation. Looking forward all of your feedback.
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Old 12th Sep 2023, 21:34
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What's your main concern - security, resilience, etc ?
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Old 12th Sep 2023, 21:43
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WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted isn't it?

Doesn't mean the programmers did not put in a 'back door' though.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 00:46
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Trim sheet data isn’t exactly a security concern.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 00:48
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Whilst it seems a little unique, I can’t see a problem with it. Transposition errors aside, it’s no different to receiving the data via ACARS.

Nice to hear of some out of the box thinking to solve a problem,
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 00:56
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Your aviation authority JS no doubt stipulated through ‘electronic means’.
You’d expect something like company email as a PDF.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 07:37
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Originally Posted by ScepticalOptomist
Transposition errors aside, it’s no different to receiving the data via ACARS.
Transposition, or transcription ?
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 07:48
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Encryption does not defend against corruption, mistakes.

Most 'corruption' mistakes are made by the data users - input, output.
Manually copying data involves risk, need to double / cross check; no procedure ensures this, but a well designed one, and used with care can help.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 10:27
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
Transposition, or transcription ?
I guess both type of errors are possible anytime you are writing down figures - I was thinking of a transposition error as being one where you write down the wrong digits, however the definition is actually:
“Transposition error is an error that occurs when digits are reversed while recording them. For example, 87 may be recorded as 78, or 420 as 402.”

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Old 13th Sep 2023, 10:37
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Have it sent to capt and FO and have one check that the other copied it onto the blank sheet correctly. All the other opportunities for error in this process also exist in other more “typical” processes. I don’t see a problem with it myself and doubt it is illegal.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 13:33
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ACARS is not encrypted and over-the-air receivable by hobbyist radio users on the ground. And it is used all the time for communications of ops related stuff.

WhatsApp should be fine.

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Old 13th Sep 2023, 14:53
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Originally Posted by 321XLR
ACARS is not encrypted and over-the-air receivable by hobbyist radio users on the ground. And it is used all the time for communications of ops related stuff.

WhatsApp should be fine.
ACARS comes in both plain-text and encrypted flavours.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 20:53
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All those companies/apps that we use for free, they also have commercial versions.

https://business.whatsapp.com/

As for certifications, do we need a certified shoes to operate rudder controls?
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Old 14th Sep 2023, 15:47
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Are headsets certified or ‘approved’?


Originally Posted by Bosi72
All those companies/apps that we use for free, they also have commercial versions.

https://business.whatsapp.com/

As for certifications, do we need a certified shoes to operate rudder controls?
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