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Why is WhatsApp delaying its controversial privacy policy update and what it means for users

The update has caused a stir around the world especially around how WhatsApp would share ‘more’ data of users with parent company Facebook, which WhatsApp claims is not correct.

WhatsApp is delaying its controversial new privacy policy update rollout till May amid major backlash and ‘confusion’ around it globally. This means it is no longer mandatory for WhatsApp users to ‘accept’ its new terms and conditions before February 8. It isn’t immediately clear if all those users who may have already accepted these updated terms and conditions will have an option to opt out.

What is WhatsApp’s new privacy policy update?

In December 2020, WhatsApp announced that it will be updating its Terms and Privacy policy this month and those who do not accept by February 8 will lose access to WhatsApp. It was noted that the new information will provide users more information about WhatsApp’s service and how the company processes user data. Apart from this, information on how businesses on WhatsApp can make use of services hosted by Facebook to store and manage chats will also be given in the new policy update.

https://mobile.twitter.com/WhatsApp/status/1350166558862053377

Why is WhatsApp delaying its rollout now?

The update has caused a stir around the world especially around how WhatsApp would share ‘more’ data of users with parent company Facebook, which WhatsApp claims is not correct. On Saturday, WhatsApp in its blog post said that the company wants people to understand the principles and the facts regarding the new policy. For this, it has extended bringing in the policy update till May 15 and no account will be suspended on February 8.

Also read: WhatsApp delays controversial ‘data-sharing’ privacy policy update rollout after backlash, confusion

What it means for WhatsApp users?

The company said that the new update will be inclusive of new options people that will be regarding business on WhatsApp that help people have further transparency about how we collect and use data. The company said, “While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and it’s important people are aware of these services.” Further stating that no information will be shared with Facebook, WhatsApp said, “This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.”

The idea to move the update date is to help people review and understand the new policy before accepting it. The company added that it aims to protect people’s personal conversations with end-to-end encryption and neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can have access to these private messages. WhatsApp claims that it does not keep logs of people contacting or messaging others and it also cannot access shared locations and other such information. “We don’t share your contacts with Facebook,” the company noted.

Also read: Trouble mounts for WhatsApp as India starts ‘evaluating’ controversial new privacy policy update

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