There was a particular section of the policy that caused fears and apprehension among users of the service. This section specifically dealt with the type of user data collected and shared with Facebook — a company notorious for the way and manner it had handled user privacy and data over the years. The section in question was ambiguous, raising concerns among users.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk tweeted on January 7, “Use Signal,” and it seemed WhatsApp users heeded his call, with many switching to the platform and others threatening to do so.
Now, the WhatsApp privacy update won’t be up until May 15. In a blog post that the company made on Friday, WhatsApp admitted that there had been so much confusion surrounding its recent update. The social media messaging service said there had been a lot of misinformation flying around. WhatsApp said it wants to relieve the fears and concerns of users by helping to separate facts from speculations.
Speaking with CNN, WhatsApp explained that this practice of data sharing with other Facebook companies had been there all this while. WhatsApp pointed out that its messaging app uses end-to-end encryption, meaning that it cannot view the private messages of users, neither can Facebook. WhatsApp said it also could not see the call logs of users or who exactly they’re messaging, neither can it see a person’s shared location, CNN reports.
The recent update will primarily affect users communicating with businesses on WhatsApp. These users can choose to store their conversations on Facebook cloud services.
WhatsApp said its upcoming update would not change its data-sharing practices with Facebook and the privacy of users communicating with friends and family. A spokesperson for the company assured users that WhatsApp remained committed to protecting the privacy of its users.