WhatsApp data sharing receives update in an attempt to control user loss

WhatsApp Data Sharing - Person using WhatsApp on phone
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As users flee to the rival Signal app, clarifications are being made to the controversial privacy policy.

The forced WhatsApp data sharing policy has received substantial criticism, leading many users to flock to Signal, a rival messaging service.

In response, WhatsApp has responded by clarifying its privacy policy update, effective February 8.

On the official website’s FAQ page, an update is posted regarding the WhatsApp data sharing policy update. Users were advised of the updated terms by way of an in-app update that require users to agree in order to continue using the application. This involves agreeing to share personal data – including their phone number – with Facebook, which owns the wildly popular messaging app.

The update of the privacy policy has specifically spotlighted that the change to the agreement has nothing to do with profile data or the contents of their chats. Instead, it has to do with businesses using this platform in order to provide customer service.

What has yet to be known is whether the WhatsApp data sharing clarification will be enough.

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way,” reads the FAQ statement addressing the subject. “Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.”

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The information goes on to specify that the company will not be able to listen to calls or read any of the private messages, nor will Facebook be able to do so.

“Whatever you share, it stays between you. That’s because your personal messages are protected by end-to-end encryption,” said the statement. “We will never weaken this security and we clearly label each chat so you know our commitment.”

The company also pointed out that the WhatsApp data sharing will not involve keeping logs of people who are messaging or any shared locations. It underscored that WhatsApp Data Sharing - Person using WhatsApp on phonecontacts will not be shared with Facebook and that groups will stay private. It reminds users that they can use an option that will cause their messages to disappear and that it is possible to download their data to store elsewhere conversations they wish to save.

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