WhatsApp explains its new privacy policy: Here’s all you need to know

  • The Delhi High Court said that accepting the terms of WhatsApp is a “voluntary” thing and anyone can decide not to join the platform if they don’t like the new privacy policy.
  • The Court strongly urged the users to properly read the terms and conditions of any app before they start using it.

Surrounded with grievous condemnation from users and rivals such as Telegram and Signal, WhatsApp has now decided to give users to review and accept its privacy policy until May 15. For the past few weeks, the Facebook-owned instant messaging app has been alleged by Apply, Microsoft’s Skype, and various other rivals for stealing and selling customer’s data to third parties. Reports also surfaced that people who use the WhatsApp web version their mobile numbers are available on Google search via indexing, which is a severe breach of the privacy policy. 

In fact, on Monday (January 19), the Delhi High Court said that accepting the terms and conditions of the messaging app is a “voluntary” thing and anyone can decide not to join the platform again if they don’t abide by the new privacy policy. Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, who challenged the new policy of WhatsApp, said to the petitioner, “It is a private app. Don’t join it. It is a voluntary thing, don’t accept it. Use some other app.”

The court added that if people read carefully the terms and conditions of the apps before they join, they will be flabbergasted to know what they are agreeing to. Even Google maps capture all the user’s data and store it in the data center. The government of India also agreed to the court that to protect users from these kinds of flaws, the matter requires proper analysis and scrutiny. 

Amid all the incertitudes, WhatsApp on its official blog post explained to users what the new privacy policy implies. First of all, the company is not suspending or deleting any accounts until February 8. It said, “We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.”

Then, it said there should not be any confusion because the user’s chat will remain encrypted like it is now. “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 added. Moreover, the new privacy policy nowhere says that WhatsApp will see and store the user’s shared location. 

Another popular allegation by rivals is that WhatsApp shares user’s location with Facebook to which the former denied and clarified by saying that ” When users give us permission, we access only the phone numbers from your address book to make messaging fast and reliable, and we don’t share your contacts lists with the other apps Facebook offers,” 

And, last but not least, WhatsApp business usage is different because when users get in touch with businesses either through, email, phone, or WhatsApp, it uses the information for its own marketing purpose.


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