WhatsApp postpones its new privacy policy due to user criticism

The company tries to reassure the public by stressing that only companies will be able to store customer messages on Facebook’s servers, and that the social media application will not have any access to this material.

WhatsApp decided postpone the start of a new privacy policy announced at the beginning of the month, after confusion and user rejection forced the messaging service to better explain what data it collects and how it shares that information with its parent, Facebook.

“We have heard from many people the confusion surrounding our recent update,” the company wrote in a blog post on Friday. “There has been a lot of misinformation that has caused concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and facts.”

WhatsApp had asked users to accept the new policy before February 8, but extended that deadline until May 15 while explaining the changes in more detail.

WhatsApp is fully encrypted, which means that only the sender and recipient of a message can read it, and those messages are not stored on Facebook’s servers.. But WhatsApp is also aggressively pushing business messaging. The new privacy policy sought to alert users that some companies would soon use Facebook-owned servers to store messages from their consumers. Facebook has said that it will not access those messages for any kind of advertising targetingBut the language in the new terms of service worried many users who feared that Facebook might see their private messages.

WhatsApp said that is not true and that all private messages between friends and family will remain end-to-end encrypted.

Closer to Facebook

“Although today not everyone buys in a business through WhatsApp, we believe that more people will choose to do so in the future and it is important that people are aware of these services, “the company wrote.” This update does not extend our ability to share data with Facebook. “

The confusion has highlighted Facebook’s challenge in convincing users that the company takes their privacy seriously. Much of the language in the new updated policy is similar to the rules implemented in 2016, but Facebook has dealt with multiple privacy issues since then, including a $ 5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made private messaging a top priority going forward, but that has also meant put WhatsApp even further under Facebook’s control, both operationally and from a branding perspective and marketing.

Communication failures around WhatsApp’s new policies have fueled a surge in users of rival apps, such as Signal and Telegram.

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