WhatsApp Delays Privacy Changes

For the past few days, WhatsApp has been facing a lot of accusations across the country for its latest move. WhatsApp recently announced that it will postpone the new privacy policy till 15th May due to immense criticism from the users. Due to this move, more than 10 million WhatsApp users have been moving to various platforms like Telegram and Signal. As a result, the implementation of a new privacy policy has been delayed by 3 months by WhatsApp.

Originally, the policy alteration was scheduled to be implemented on February 8, said WhatsApp. Later, it clarified that the update doesn’t impact data sharing with Facebook regarding personal conversations, profile details, and others. It only addresses business chats in the event whenever a user communicates with a firm’s customer service platform via WhatsApp. 

WhatsApp Delays Privacy Changes
WhatsApp Delays Privacy Changes

The company said on its blog that, ‘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.’ 

The blogpost further stated that ‘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.’

On Saturday, WhatsApp announced its postponement of the new privacy policy. WhatsApp shared a blog post on its Twitter handle at around 1.15 am. The tweet reads, ‘Thank you to everyone who’s reached out. We’re still working to counter any confusion by communicating directly with @WhatsApp users. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on Feb 8 and we’ll be moving back our business plans until after May.’

The company further said that it would move to people slowly to review the policy at their own pace before the new business options are available on 15th May 2021. For the uninitiated, WhatsApp had announced on 6th January that it was planning to make it compulsory for users to share their data with its parent firm. The firm hadn’t given a choice to users to opt-out of the changes and also said that people would lose access by 8th February 2021 if they don’t accept the new terms. Some of the experts said that the move of WhatsApp was a massive hit to privacy as it maximized data accumulation.

Jiten Jain, a cybersecurity expert stressed that the privacy concerns regarding the new update remain since WhatsApp hasn’t reverted the policy. The expert said, ‘They have just delayed the new policy by a couple of months. It’s only a tactic to escape public anger and stop the mass exodus of people to other platforms.’ The company’s tweet stated that it never planned to delete any accounts depending on this and will not do so in the future.

Anna Larkina, a senior researcher from cyber firm Kaspersky said, ‘Moving forward, the integration between Facebook and WhatsApp will only continue to increase and users will need to decide what level of information sharing they’re comfortable with and which messaging applications they prefer.’ Get to know the latest telecom updates and tech news on this website. 

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