issuing clarification WhatsApp says policy update doesn't affect privacy of messages


By MYBRANDBOOK


issuing clarification WhatsApp says policy update doesn't affect privacy of messages

WhatsApp has sought to assuage users' concerns saying its latest policy update does not affect the privacy of messages on the platform. In a blogpost, WhatsApp emphasised that it does not share users' contact lists or data of groups with Facebook for advertisement purposes. Neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read messages or hear calls between users on WhatsApp, it added.

 

Last week, WhatsApp had informed users of an update in its terms of service and privacy policy regarding how it processes user data and partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the social media giant's products. It also stated that users will have to agree to the new terms and policy by February 8, 2021, in order to continue using WhatsApp. This kickstarted a spate of conversations as well as memes on the internet over WhatsApp's alleged sharing of user information with Facebook. Many users have also started shifting to rival platforms like Telegram and Signal.

 

"We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data," WhatsApp said.

 

It added that WhatsApp accesses only the phone numbers from the address book (after getting user's permission) to make messaging fast and reliable, and that it does not share contact lists with the other Facebook apps. "We use group membership to deliver messages and to protect our service from spam and abuse. We don't share this data with Facebook for ads purposes. Again, these private chats are end-to-end encrypted so we can't see their content," it noted.

 

Meanwhile, a report by internet security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia has claimed that at least 1,700 private WhatsApp group links were visible on Google through a web search. WhatsApp noted that users can choose to set their messages to disappear from chats "for additional privacy".

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