WhatsApp delays and clarifies the update of its privacy policy

Millions of people flock to Signal and Telegram as WhatsApp strives to address user concerns.

A little over a week after announcing changes to its privacy policy and terms of use, WhatsApp postponed the application of its new data sharing rules until May 15.

“We are now moving back the date when people will be asked to review and agree to the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We will also do a lot more to dispel misinformation about how security and privacy works on WhatsApp, ”the company’s blog post.

First and foremost, the company is working to address the main concerns related to these new practices: “This update does not extend our ability to share data with Facebook”.

Indeed, the initial announcement was met with some reluctance, not least due to an unfortunate wording that raised questions among users about the types of data that would be shared with the chat app’s parent company, Facebook. .

This also led WhatsApp to explain in its FAQ that the update will not give WhatsApp or Facebook the ability to see the content of messages or listen to users’ calls, or keep logs of people with whom users interact, among other things.

“With these updates, none of that changes. Instead, the update includes new options that people will have for messaging a business on WhatsApp, and provides more transparency on how we collect and use data. While not everyone purchases with a business on WhatsApp today, we believe more people will choose to do so in the future and it is important that people are aware of these services. This update does not extend our ability to share data with Facebook ”.

The company also clarified that the changes are primarily focused on how businesses use the app. The changes include optional features such as the ability for businesses to use Facebook’s secure hosting services for WhatsApp chats or to allow customers to interact with businesses through WhatsApp by clicking on Facebook and Instagram ads.

The confusion surrounding the previous announcement had some ripple effects, with calls for users to ditch WhatsApp and switch to the competition. Signal, a communication platform praised for its concern for the protection of privacy, has become one of the most downloaded apps on Android and iOS; the influx of new users was so large that it overwhelmed the association’s servers.

While app analytics companies report millions of downloads of the popular messaging app, a Signal spokesperson tells CNET that the reports are underestimated: “Right now, I can say that all of these companies The app analytics are way below the numbers reported by Signal because we don’t have trackers or analytics like other apps. The spokesperson also added that Signal does not share its figures publicly.

Meanwhile, Telegram, another competitor to WhatsApp, also saw an influx of new users surpass the 500 million monthly active user mark at the start of January.. According to a post by Pavel Durov, one of the founders of the app, the service saw 25 million new users sign up within 72 hours.

Design by NewsLax