WhatsApp Says Privacy Update Won’t Impact One-on-One Communication

ISLAMABAD: Whatsapp has clarified on the recent controversies about the new privacy policy. In light of the privacy concerns surrounding WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions, the company issued a statement on 8 January stating that the update “does not change WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices with Facebook”.

In a bid to allay user fears, WhatsApp added in its statement that the new update “does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world.”

A spokesperson told The Quint that the changes pertain to a user’s communication with businesses that operate on WhatsApp and to the data that she shares with the business accounts.

On 9 January, WhatsApp Head Will Cathart, in a series of tweets, stated “With end-to-end encryption, we cannot see your private chats or calls and neither can Facebook.”

“We’re committed to this technology and committed to defending it globally.” he added.

Since the recent update on Whatsapp’s Privacy policy, concerns have emerged among users regarding a compromise of their privacy on the app and the sharing of data with Facebook and third-party businesses. Several netizens on Twitter have even urged users to switch over to Signal app as secure alternatives.

WhatsApp on Tuesday, 5 January, updated its Terms of Services and its Privacy Policy and started sending in-app notifications to its users informing them about a change. The new terms and privacy policy will come into effect on 8 February 2021.

According to the new update, WhatsApp users will not be able to send or receive messages after 8 February till they accept the updated terms and conditions.

The Facebook-owned company issued a new statement to clarify its position regarding the new updates in the wake of the cocnerns that have emerged.

A WhatsApp spokesperson told The Quint that a user’s account won’t be deleted after 8 February if she doesn’t accept the new update. Rather the user will not be able to send or receive texts and the account will be rendered inactive till she accepts the update.

Here’s what WhatsApp has to say in its new public statement:

“As we announced in October, WhatsApp wants to make it easier for people to both make a purchase and get help from a business directly on WhatsApp. While most people use WhatsApp to chat with friends and family, increasingly people are reaching out to businesses as well.

To further increase transparency, we updated the privacy policy to describe that going forward businesses can choose to receive secure hosting services from our parent company Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp. Though of course, it remains up to the user whether or not they want to message with a business on WhatsApp”

Speaking about the privacy policy changes, WhatsApp assured its users that the update wont change data sharing practices and wont impact one to one communication.

The update does not change WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world. WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy.

Whatsapp Spokesperson;

“We are communicating directly with users through WhatsApp about these changes so they have time to review the new policy over the course of the next month,” the statement added.

Further, Cathcart, took to Twitter to reiterate that the company is “committed to providing private communication” protected by end-to-end encryption and “that’s not changing”.

“It’s important for us to be clear this update describes business communication and does not change WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook. It does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world,” Cathcart tweeted. (courtesy: the