WhatsApp Plans to Go Ahead with Privacy Update for Users Following Backlash
However, the platform promised to allow it, users, to read it at “their own pace” and will also display a banner providing additional information to ease the adoption process.
“In the coming weeks, we’ll display a banner in WhatsApp providing more information that people can read at their own pace. We’ve also included more information to try and address concerns we’re hearing. Eventually, we’ll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp”, the platformed announce.
Industry commentators believe that the handling of the privacy update on WhatsApp’s part led to widespread confusion and misinformation. The platform assumed its users would accept the terms without making an effort to smoothen the process.
In its announcement, WhatsApp accepted responsibility and promised to do better going forward:
“We’ve reflected on what we could have done better here. We want everyone to know our history of defending end-to-end encryption and trust we’re committed to protecting people’s privacy and security. We’re now using our Status feature to share our values and updates directly within WhatsApp. We’ll be doing much more to make our voice clear going forward.”
The latest policy update would allow owner Facebook and its subsidiaries collect user data, including users’ phone number and location. The possibility of having such data in the hands and consenting sparked a global outcry.
WhatsApp explained that the privacy update will only affect optional business features on the app. According to the announcement, the new feature will allow business users to see the content of messages between it and the end user, and give the businesses permission to use that information for its own marketing purposes as well as for advertising on Facebook.
A backlash saw a rush of users to competitor platforms like Telegram and Signal, among others. WhatsApp claims that the may not be safer: “We’ve seen some of our competitors try to get away with claiming they can’t see people’s messages – if an app doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption by default that means they can read your messages”.
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