WhatsApp pushes back policy roll out to May 15


Messaging platform says it’s ‘doing a lot more to clear up misinformation’ on privacy and security on the app

Following a severe backlash over the latest update to its privacy policy, Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Saturday said it has pushed back the policy roll out by three months to May 15.

Also read: WhatsApp faces first legal challenge in India over privacy

“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,” the company said in a blog post.

WhatsApp, for whom India is among the biggest markets with over 400 million users, said, “We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8.”

The company said it will also do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp and “we’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15”.

WhatsApp, it said, was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you, while stressing that users’ personal conversations are end-to-end encrypted 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,” it said, adding that with the recent update, this will not change. Instead, the update will include new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how the platform collects and uses data.

“While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and it’s important people are aware of these services. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” it clarified.

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