Info-tech

WhatsApp put up its own status on privacy issues

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 17, 2021

WhatsApp users woke up to a series of 'Status' put up by the social messaging app itself saying 'we are committed to your privacy' on Sunday.

The development comes a day after the Facebook-owned company announced that it is delaying its new privacy policy to May 15. It had earlier said the policy will be effective from February 8.

 

"WhatsApp can't read or listen to your personal conversations as they're end-to-end encrypted," it further wrote.

In another status it said, “WhatsApp can't see your shared location.”

"WhatsApp doesn't share your contacts with Facebook," it further added.

 

The company in a blog post on Friday had said it was trying to clear up the confusion, and it included a chart that specifies what information is protected when someone uses WhatsApp.

Facebook executives, including Instagram chief Adam Mosseri and WhatsApp head Will Cathcart, also used Twitter to try and clear up the confusion.

 

The company said it is now going to use the three-month delay to better communicate both the changes in its new policy and its long-standing privacy practices around personal chats, location sharing, and other sensitive data.

"We're now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms," the blog post read.

 

The company said no one will be losing access to the app if they didn't agree to the new terms of service agreement that communicated the changes earlier this month.

Facebook’s poor privacy track record, and the fact that WhatsApp has over time turned its sights on monetising the platform for its large international user base, has eroded trust in the chat app, which, in turn, has had the effect of turning a relatively mundane update into a worldwide controversy.

Recently, senior government officials had also told BusinessLine that they would communicate if the encrypted messaging platform compromises on security and privacy of its users in India.

The officials had said the government can change the intermediary guidelines if deemed necessary, as framing the guidelines is in the final stages.

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Published on January 17, 2021
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