The move comes in the wake of growing concerns over data breach after WhatsApp updated its privacy policy.(Reuters)
The move comes in the wake of growing concerns over data breach after WhatsApp updated its privacy policy.(Reuters)

'Continue to protect private messages': WhatsApp clarifies privacy policy again

The popular messaging app has been facing a trust deficit after it issued an update to its privacy policy on January 8 related to data sharing with Facebook and how data is used when a customer interacts with a business using WhatsApp.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 12:57 PM IST

WhatsApp on Monday reassured users that it doesn’t share private messages or sensitive location data with Facebook amid row over reports of its users alleging leak of their private messages with family and friends on search engines.

“We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption,” it tweeted. The Facebook-owned messaging service also said in another tweet that its recently revised policy “does not affect the privacy of messages with friends or family", adding that this update was only applicable to messaging a business on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp updated its privacy policy and among the new terms reserve the right to share user data, including location and phone number, with its parent Facebook Inc and units such as Instagram and Messenger. The popular messaging app has been facing a trust deficit after it issued an update to its privacy policy on January 8 related to data sharing with Facebook and how data is used when a customer interacts with a business using WhatsApp.

The clarification came even as more and more WhatsApp users are migrating over to rival apps like Signal that do not share their data with a parent app. Recently, Signal became the most downloaded application in the app store. The Signal app has also climbed to the top of the charts on the Apple app store for iPhone users in many countries including India. In India, it is the third most popular free app after MX TakaTak short video app and SnackVideo.

It shared this list of information that it does not share with Facebook:

1. WhatsApp cannot see your private messages or hear your calls and neither can Facebook as it offers end-to-end encryption.

2. WhatsApp does not keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling.

3. WhatsApp cannot see your shared location and neither can Facebook.

4. WhatsApp does not share your contacts with Facebook.

5. WhatsApp groups remain private.

6. You can set your messages to disappear.

7. You can download your data.

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