WhatsApp to go on with privacy policy updates; Affirms to clear users’ confusions

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp will go ahead with its controversial privacy policy update but will clear up all confusions, allow users to read it at “their own pace” and will also display a banner providing additional information.

In January, WhatsApp has informed the users it was preparing a new privacy policy, under which it could share limited user data with Facebook and its group firms. This led to a public outcry and mass migration of the platform’s new as well as existing users to its competitors such as Signal and Telegram.

As users became worried that the platform would share their confidential chats and business messages with parent company Facebook, Whatsapp came under regulatory probes. Earlier the company had asked the users to agree to the new policy by February or their accounts will be suspended, but later it pushed the deadline to May.

WhatsApp, in its latest blog, said it will start reminding users to review and accept updates to keep using the messaging platform. It is developing new ways to chat or shop with a business on it that is entirely optional and it assured that the personal messages will always be end-to-end encrypted, so the company can’t read or listen to them.

“We charge businesses to provide customer service on WhatsApp, not people. Some shopping features involve Facebook so that businesses can manage their inventory across apps. We display more information directly on WhatsApp so people can choose if they want to engage with businesses, or not,” WhatsApp explained in its blog post.

WhatsApp’s announcement comes when the parent Facebook moved to block all news content in Australia, facing backlash from publishers and politicians, prompting a senior British lawmaker to label the move as an attempt to bully a democracy.

Also Read: Why global calls to quit WhatsApp isn’t a cause of concern for Facebook