Social Media

“What happens in 3 months?” WhatsApp’s decision to delay privacy update receives mix response

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2021

Messaging platform WhatsApp’s decision to delay its privacy update has received a mix response from users.

WhatsApp on Saturday announced that it will be delaying its controversial update to its privacy policy and terms of service by three months.

“We’re now 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,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.

While many users appreciated the decision to delay the privacy update, others expressed confusion about the delay on social media. “What about those who might have accepted your new privacy policy or data sharing policy notice? Will they now have an option to opt-out?” tweeted a user. “And so #WhatsApp has delayed the change by 3 months. Wonder what's going to change in 3 months! #privacy,” wrote another.

The messaging platform confirmed to the Verge that the policy will not be changing in three months The intent of the delay is to better communicate the policy to users.

WhatsApp in its blog post said that it will be working to communicate with users to clear the misinformation about its new update. “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 said.

Many users were disappointed at the decision with calls to migrate to other apps. “Although WhatsApp is giving users more time to think about this policy change, it's still not changing its policy. This means that data sharing with Facebook will still be a part of the app, even if it's just limited to shopping,” tweeted a user.

“Just delayed, not done away with. There is a better alternative. Switch to @signalapp,” wrote another.

Usage for apps such as Telegram and Signal has surged in the past two weeks amid growing concerns regarding WhatsApp’s new policy and data sharing with Facebook.

WhatsApp, in an attempt to address concerns regarding the update had previously released an FAQ page detailing the policy changes.

The platform had further detailed the data that will be shared with Facebook following the update is primarily for its people-to-business features. The platform emphasised that user chats will remain end-to-end encrypted and that the changes will not impact the privacy of messages sent to friends or family.

Published on January 16, 2021

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