WhatsApp delays new privacy policy till May 15 amid mass confusion

WhatsApp announced a three-month delay in the implementation of the controversial new privacy policy that was originally slated to go into effect from February 8, following massive backlash and widespread confusion. Tens of millions of WhatsApp users were reportedly moving from the instant messaging platform to its rival apps such as Telegram and Signal.

“We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update. There”s been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts,” WhatsApp said on the company blog.

WhatsApp has clarified that the new update does not affect data sharing with Facebook with regard to personal conversations or other profile information and only addresses business chats in the event a user converses with a company’s customer service platform through WhatsApp.

“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,” the company further said.

Asserting that none of that changes, the company said, “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.”

The company also said that it was 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 added.

On Friday (January 15), the company had released a separate blog post in order to clear up the confusion amid its users. The post also included a chart that specifies what information is protected when someone uses WhatsApp.

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