WhatsApp Delays Updated Privacy Policy After Backlash

Issue 54

01.18.21 - WhatsApp is delaying an updated privacy policy following a backlash over data concerns regarding what it shares with its parent company, Facebook. WhatsApp recently began notifying its users of the upcoming updated terms of service and privacy policy, which users have to agree to in order to keep using the app after February 8th.

Facebook has a track record around privacy and protecting people's data that leaves much to be desired. The privacy update has contributed to a mass exodus of users moving to competing apps such as Signal. Now WhatsApp's update won't update the terms of service and privacy policy until May 15.

"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," WhatsApp stated Friday announcing the delay.

WhatsApp has stated that its privacy policy outlines that the user information it collects may be shared with other Facebook companies "to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings.", and has assured the media that there are no data sharing practices that are new.

In its statement on Friday, WhatsApp emphasized that its platform features end-to-end encryption, meaning neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see any users' private messages. It has also assured that they don’t keep logs of who users are calling or messaging. WhatsApp said it can't see a person's shared location and that it doesn't share a user's contacts with Facebook.

Source: New York Times