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)

WhatsApp defers new policy on info sharing

WhatsApp cancelled its February 8 deadline for accepting the tweak to its terms of service, involving sharing data with Facebook servers. The platform said it would instead “go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.”
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:38 PM IST

Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp announced that it has postponed its planned privacy update, which will give users more time to review the policy and accept the terms of its proposed data sharing with Facebook.

“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.

WhatsApp cancelled its February 8 deadline for accepting the tweak to its terms of service, involving sharing data with Facebook servers.

The platform said it would instead “go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.”

In a blog post it wrote,”WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages. It’s why we don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook.”

“With these updates, none of that is changing. Instead, the update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and it’s important people are aware of these services. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” it added.

“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” it further added.

Reassuring people on these concerns, the company said, “WhatsApp helped bring end-to-end encryption to people across the world and we are committed to defending this security technology now and in the future. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us and to so many who have helped spread facts and stop rumors. We will continue to put everything we have into making WhatsApp the best way to communicate privately.”

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.

That sparked global outcries and a rush of new users to competitor private messaging apps including Telegram and Signal.

Facebook has been rolling out business tools on WhatsApp over the past year as it moves to boost revenue from higher-growth units like WhatsApp and Instagram while knitting together e-commerce infrastructure across the company.

(With inputs from agencies)

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