Whatsapp pushes data privacy guidelines deadline after user backlash

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Alex Ruhl)

Faced with increasing criticism from its urban users, Whatsapp announced on Friday that it would be postponing the new privacy rules by over three months, using it the delay to clear up all misgivings around privacy and data security. 

The company said in a blogpost that they had heard concerns from several people about the confusion around its new privacy policy that allows Whatsapp to share the user data it collects with its parent company Facebook. In turn, the social media giant would use such data to serve better targeted ads. 

Earlier, the popular instant messaging app had set a deadline of February 8 for users to accept the changes to its privacy policy. In the blog post, the company, however, said that the update does not expand its ability to share data with Facebook. 

"WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, 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 in the blog post (opens in new tab)

The blog said none the above would change with these updates. Instead they would provide new options to people to manage their business accounts and also further enhance the transparency about how the company collects user 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 is important people are aware of these services. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook," it added.

The company concluded by stating that accounts would not be suspended on February 8 and that it would do more to clear up misinformation around how the privacy and security works on Whatsapp. 

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Raj Narayan

A media veteran who turned a gadget lover fairly recently. An early adopter of Apple products, Raj has an insatiable curiosity for facts and figures which he puts to use in research. He engages in active sport and retreats to his farm during his spare time.