WhatsApp delays policy update to May 2021, citing ‘confusion’ over data sharing

WhatsApp delayed the rollout of its updated privacy policy to 15 May 2021, following backlash.

WhatsApp delays policy update to May 2021, citing ‘confusion’ over data sharing

WhatsApp announced on its blog that it would be delaying the privacy policy update. It cited the “confusion and backlash” it caused among users ahead of the 8 February 2021 deadline.

This follows after millions of users migrated from WhatsApp to Telegram, Signal and other platforms. Both security-orientated apps reported a surge of new users.

In fact, Signal suffered an outage over the weekend as new users continued to join the app. Telegram had to delete thousands of hate groups as new users violated its terms of service.

WhatsApp privacy policy update backlash

Former WhatsApp users were concerned that the new privacy policy update signaled broader data sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook.

That said, Facebook bought WhatsApp four years ago, meaning it’s already shared some personal data with Facebook, such are your phone number.

The team behind the world’s (former) most popular chat app said it would be “giving more time” by delaying the rollout to May 2021 to manage the confusion and concern.

“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”.

They explained that WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. They want to assure readers that they will always “protect your personal conversations”.

‘Clearing up misinformation’

This is done through end-to-end encryption, meaning that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see any of our private messages. The team also claims that they “don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling”.

Furthermore, they won’t be able to access shared location and won’t share your contacts with Facebook. According to WhatsApp, the new update will provide “further transparency” about how they collect data.

“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 15 May 2021”.

Source : The South African More