WhatsApp to delay new privacy policy amid massive confusion over Facebook data sharing

The new update is due out now on May 15

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

WhatsApp announced on Friday a three-month delay of a new privacy policy originally scheduled to go in effective February 8 following widespread confusion over whether the new policy would mandate data sharing with Facebook.

The update does not in fact affect data sharing with Facebook regarding user chats or other profile information; WhatsApp has repeatedly clarified that its update addresses commercial chats in the event that a user converse with a company’s customer service platform via WhatsApp.

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“We have heard from many people how much confusion there is around our update recent. There has been a lot of confusion. misinformation that causes concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and facts, “the company wrote in a new blog post published today.

Since 2016, WhatsApp has shared certain information with Facebook, including your phone number, unless that you are one of the select few users who chose not to share data while the option was still available that year. However, WhatsApp does not look at people’s chat messages or listen to their phone calls, and WhatsApp conversations are end-to-end encrypted to guard against such abuses.

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Despite this, a pop-up that informed The users of the new change included a mention of how WhatsApp is associated with Facebook, and it also included an ultimatum ins ordering users to delete their account if they chose not to accept the new terms. That gave people the idea that they were being misled in new and more invasive terms.

The company published a separate blog post this week to try to clear up the confusion, and it included a box specifying what information is protected and not shared when someone uses WhatsApp. Social media has joined in a full-blown WhatsApp privacy backlash. The result has been an increase in subscriptions for messaging competitors like Signal and Telegram.

Facebook executives, including Instagram boss Adam Mosseri and WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart, used Twitter to try to clear up the confusion, it seems with little. success. The history of privacy and the fact that WhatsApp has, over time, set its sights on monetizing the platform for its large international user base, has eroded trust in the chat app, which, in turn, has had the effect of turning a relatively mundane update into a

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WhatsApp says it will now use this three-month delay to better communicate both changes to its new policy and its long-standing privacy practices around personal chats, location sharing. and other confidential data. roll back the date that people will be asked to review and agree to the terms, ”the blog post says.

“THIS UPDATE DOES NOT EXPAND OUR ABILITY TO SHARE DATA WITH FACEBOOK.”

Wh WhatsApp says that no one will lose access to the app if they don’t agree to the new terms of service agreement that communicated the changes earlier this month. “We are also going to do a lot more to clear up misinformation about security and privacy on WhatsApp. Then we will gradually go to people to review the policy at their own pace before the new trading options are available on May 15, ”the company says.

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WhatsApp tells The Verge that the policy will not change when it comes out. The update is intended to inform users that messages with companies on WhatsApp may be stored on Facebook servers. This requires a data exchange between the two companies and would allow Facebook to share that information between its main social network and Instagram for ad targeting and to improve the digital commerce business. WhatsApp continues to intend to release the update on May 15 to wrap it up with the new business chat features, the preview of which began back in October Get a grip on them and better improve them. News about what is actually changing.

“The update includes new options for users to notify a company on WhatsApp and provides more visibility into how we collect and use data. While not everyone with a business is shopping on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future, and it is important that people are aware of these services, ”reads the blog post The Update Expanded not our ability to share data with Facebook.

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