After backlash and despite ad campaigns, WhatsApp forced to delay new data-sharing terms with Facebook

Published : January 16, 2021 11:19 IST

Reuters/Dado Ruvic Illustration/File Photo

WhatsApp has had a change of heart, albeit temporarily it would seem. With its print and social media ad campaigns failing to change the heart of many users who’ve migrated to rival apps for better privacy, the messaging platform released a blog post yesterday titled ‘Giving More Time For Our Recent Update’.

There was a marked change in language from the slightly paternalistic slant in its earlier efforts to convince users of the new terms and conditions. The tone and tenor of the post harped on the company’s goal of making personal conversations easier.

WhatsApp says it has “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 was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages. It’s why we don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling.”

However, it still argued that the latest update “provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.”, and that while not much of people may interact with business accounts today, “we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and it’s important people are aware of these services. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.”

The change of heart will now mean that “no one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8” and that the company is working on clearing the ‘misinformation’ on the app’s privacy and security. The new date for people to ‘review’ and accept the new terms at their ‘own pace’ is now May 15.

It ended the post by thanking users who’ve helped spread facts and stop rumours and maintained that it will continue to “put everything we have into making WhatsApp the best way to communicate privately.”

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