WhatsApp Issues Clarification on the Updated Privacy Policy



Pradeep Kunwar

After facing wrath from its users related to an update in the privacy policy, the messaging app giant, WhatsApp has announced that they will delay its privacy update plan that is destined for February 8. Recently, WhatsApp has concluded that it will give more time to users to comprehend the new policy update. The messenger app giant has cleared that there is a hate campaign that has been running to malign the image of the company. 

In a detailed blog post, WhatsApp has clarified that the new policy will bring no changes in the existing privacy policy related to personal conversations, location, and contacts as all the messages have end-to-end encryption, so there is no chance for either WhatsApp or Facebook to see messages, contacts, and location. 

Going deep into the development, this update was announced by WhatsApp at the start of January. Since then, it has been interpreted in a bad light by the users. This was conveyed to the users through a notification that popped on opening the app.

Earlier it was said by the company that under this policy, the user’s data could be shared with the companies owned by Facebook. This sparked controversy and led users to believe that their privacy was under threat. As per the policy, it was also stated that if the users don’t agree to the policies till February 8, the app will stop working on devices. Many messenger apps like Signal and Telegram have used this controversy to lure users into downloading their apps.

Unfortunately, Facebook and Twitter combined have lost over $52 billion after they banned Trump supporters. Interestingly, Signal has witnessed an unprecedented spike in downloads. But it seems like this went well with WhatsApp users and led the company to delay its privacy update policy. 

Read our blog here: Whatsapp New Privacy Policy

Now, because of the barrage of negative comments, WhatsApp was compelled to issue a clarification that the new policy has nothing to do with the sharing of any data with Facebook-owned companies. 

“We’re 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 work 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”, WhatsApp clarified.

A comprehensive overview of privacy policy changes

To provide more clarity on the new privacy policy, WhatsApp has also updated its website with a clarification on the terms of policy and how it will go with the users. 

“Our Services have optional features which, if used by you, require us to collect additional information to provide such features. You will be notified of such a collection, as appropriate. If you choose not to provide the information needed to use a feature, you will be unable to use the feature. For example, you cannot share your location with your contacts if you do not permit us to collect your location data from your device. Permissions can be managed through your Settings menu on both Android and iOS devices,” Whatsapp wrote.

The Facebook-owned messaging service also expanded on how much of the data is collected automatically by the app. “We collect information about your activity on our Services, like service-related, diagnostic, and performance information. This includes information about your activity (including how you use our Services, your Services settings, how you interact with others using our Services (including when you interact with a business), and the time, frequency, and duration of your activities and interactions), log files, and diagnostic, crash, website, and performance logs and reports,” WhatsApp said.

“This also includes information about when you registered to use our Services; the features you use like our messaging, calling, Status, groups (including group name, group picture, group description), payments or business features; profile photo, “about” information; whether you are online when you last used our Services (your “last seen”); and when you last updated your “about” information,” WhatsApp added.

As we know, Whatsapp, as a messaging service, has the maximum no of users. It amasses around 2 billion monthly active users. But with so many other options like Telegram, Hike, Signal, WeChat, Users can switch to them if they find any infringement in their privacy. But now, WhatsApp has emerged strongly to clarify the terms of the policy, and users may restore their trust in the messenger service. 

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