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WhatsApp delays its privacy policy update

The new policy will be updated after 15 May.

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NEW DELHI: WhatsApp is having an extremely eventful start to 2021. It began with a massive furore over its new privacy policy that was set to be implemented from 8 February this year. The overwhelming criticism has forced the messaging app to take a step back and in the latest development, it has delayed the switchover to the updated policy.

The user backlash forced the messaging service to better explain what data it collects and how it shares that information with parent company Facebook.

WhatsApp announced the development on their Twitter handle thus: “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.”

Initially, it had asked users to agree to the new policy by 8 February, but has pushed that deadline to May 15 while it further clarifies the changes being incorporated in it.

The communication further stated that 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. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook.”

The chat app stated that it has helped bring end-to-end encryption to people across the world and is committed to defending this security technology now and in the future.

It released a massive print campaign in India last week to clear the air about its policy change and how it does not impact the common user.

Several clauses – such as storing media messages, automatic collection of information, sharing information with Facebook and third-party businesses and service providers – did not go down well with the masses and governments alike, leading to immediate and widespread backlash. People were not comfortable with sharing information with Facebook without their authorisation, given its previous record in handling users’ data.

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