WhatsApp users received a notification this month that it was preparing a new privacy policy and terms, and it reserved the right to share some user data with the Facebook app.(REUTERS)
WhatsApp users received a notification this month that it was preparing a new privacy policy and terms, and it reserved the right to share some user data with the Facebook app.(REUTERS)

'Can't read your personal conversation: WhatsApp shares status amid backlash

Whatsapp said it can't see users' shared location and it doesn't share contacts with Facebook.
Written by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 03:38 PM IST

A day after WhatsApp announced that it will not immediately update its policy, the messaging site took recourse to one of its features and sent out a message committing to users' privacy.

WhatsApp allows users to post status which stays for 24 hours. This can be viewed by one's WhatsApp contacts. On Sunday, Whatsapp updated their status which is visible to all WhatsApp users.

In its message, Whatsapp said it is committed to users' privacy. It can't read or listen to users; personal conversations as they are end-to-end encrypted. It can't see users' shared location and it doesn't share contacts with Facebook.

WhatsApp put up status messages on Sunday committing to users privacy.
WhatsApp put up status messages on Sunday committing to users privacy.


Here is all you need to know about WhatsApp controversy:

> WhatsApp recently announced that it would link the user data to other products and services of Facebook, the parent company.

> This led to a huge backlash coming from influential figures who pitched for other messaging platforms like Signal. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Indian industrialists Vijay Shekhar (PayTm), Anand Mahindra (Mahindra group) were among them.

> The Confederation of All India Traders wrote to the IT ministry seeking either a ban on Facebook or a restriction of Whatsapp from implementing this policy.

> WhatsApp's discrimination between users in India and Europe also come to light as for Europe users, WhatsApp was not updating its policy.

> WhatsApp said its new policy won't impact private chats. Only chats of business accounts could be shared with Facebook for better integration of Facebook services across products.

> A petitioner filed a case against WhatsApp in the Delhi High court.

> The IT ministry said that it was examining the controversy.

> WhatsApp said the rollout has been postponed to May 15 when users will be asked to review and accept the terms. Earlier, the date was February 8.

India has over 400 million WhatsApp users which is why the company is now buying time before its policy updates. WhatsApp rival Telegram has added 25 million new users in the last few days across the world.

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