WhatsApp Delays Rollout of New Privacy Policy Update After Widespread Criticism

whatsapp delays privacy policy update

The past week has been a tough one for WhatsApp. The messaging giant rolled out a new privacy policy update. It focused on how you communicate with businesses on WhatsApp and offered more transparency over the data collected. The company stated that it will now start sharing this data with its parent company, Facebook. This caused widespread outrage and users globally accused WhatsApp of invading their privacy. The privacy-conscious users jumped ship to alternatives such as Telegram and Signal.

Now, WhatsApp has already tried to clear the air around its new privacy policy update. The confusion around the policies, however, continues and has forced the company to delay the rollout to 15th May 2021. Earlier, the privacy policy was set to go into effect from 8th February. You had to accept the new terms, enabling the new business features and data sharing with Facebook, by this date or lose access to your account.

“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,” states the official blog post. WhatsApp says it is giving users time to thoroughly review the new privacy policy. It will also work to educate more users about the same over the coming weeks. Users can “review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” adds the company.

If you have been living under a rock, WhatsApp started pushing an in-app notification to alert users of its new privacy policy over the weekend. While all your conversations still remain end-to-end encrypted, the company revealed that it will enable businesses you talk to using the app to save your conversations. Also, it will share your sensitive information with Facebook (and possibly, third-parties), as per the new policy. You can check out the details right here:

This was seen as a direct violation of user privacy by many. More than 25 million new users have since signed up for Telegram. Another well-known secure messaging app, Signal, has also topped the app store charts over the past week. WhatsApp, however, continues to be open about the changes and how they affect you. It has even published full-page ads in some of the most popular newspapers in India. You can see it attached right here:

whatsapp full-page ad india newspaper

In the blog post, WhatsApp adds, “The update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.” The messaging giant thinks that you will soon use WhatsApp to contact more businesses and shop directly within the app. The new privacy policy update has been mischaracterized by the users. It is only meant to offer more transparency into what all data is collected. “This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” says WhatsApp.

Now, if you are still worried about your privacy, I’m here to help you with that as well. You can check out how WhatsApp compares to Telegram and Signal right here. Other popular WhatsApp alternatives are listed here and we have compiled guides to make it easier for everyone to make the switch. Check out how you can move from WhatsApp to Signal and Telegram respectively.

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