WhatsApp tries again with privacy policy update - Mobile World Live

WhatsApp tries again with privacy policy update

19 FEB 2021

WhatsApp outlined plans to share more information about a controversial privacy policy update in a bid to stem user concerns, after it was forced to delay the move following a backlash.

In a blog, WhatsApp said it was now outlining how it will ask users to review terms of service and privacy after previously encountering “a great deal of misinformation about this update”, adding it was working hard to clear up any confusion.

“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.”

The company added it would eventually start reminding people to review and accept the updates to keep using WhatsApp.

Harvesting data
WhatsApp postponed the updated policy until May after a backlash from opponents concerned the plan was a bid to increase the data shared with parent Facebook.

The messaging service emphasised conversations will remain secure following the update, which it said was designed to aid interactions with businesses using the platform.

Analytics company Sensor Tower noted a surge in downloads of rival apps Signal and Telegram in the wake of WhatsApp’s original announcement.

Addressing this, WhatsApp said it had seen competitors claim they can’t see other people’s messages, but pointed out if an app doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption “by default that means they can read your messages”.

“Other apps say they’re better because they know even less information than WhatsApp. We believe people are looking for apps to be both reliable and safe, even if that requires WhatsApp having some limited data.”

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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