WhatsApp Delays New Terms Rollout After Backlash

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook Inc, has delayed its latest update that is aimed at increasing business transactions on the platform after a storm of concern by users. The users feared that the messaging platform was destroying its privacy policy in the entire process. Whatsapp Users received a pop-up message that included its new privacy policy and terms. The message read that it has reserved the right to share some of the user data with the Facebook app. The notification about the same was sent to all the users earlier this month. 

The new privacy policy has sparked a global outcry and a rise of new users to competitor private messaging apps including Telegram and Signal. Last Friday, WhatsApp said that it would delay the new policy launch from February to May. It also mentioned that the update was focused on allowing its users to message with businesses and that the new policy does not affect personal conversations and will continue to have end-to-end encryption.

In one of its statements, Whatsapp claimed that the new privacy policy will not expand the platform’s ability to share data with Facebook Inc. Whatsapp also mentioned that they believe businesses will choose the Whatsapp Business function in the near future.

Facebook Inc has been rolling out the business tools on WhatsApp over the past year as it is moving forward to boost revenue from higher-growth platforms like Instagram and Whatsapp while knitting together e-commerce infrastructure across the company. Let us tell you that Facebook has acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in the year 2014 but has been slow to monetize it.

The app already shares certain categories of personal information about the users, including their phone number and IP address, with its parent company, Facebook. The messenger cannot see the messaging, calling and shared location data and we do not share your contacts with Facebook Inc,” the platform said.

In October, WhatsApp said that it would soon start to offer in-app purchases via Facebook Shops and would offer firms that use its customer service messaging tools the ability to store those messages on the Facebook servers.

WhatsApp has claimed that at the time that chats with a business using the new hosting service would not be protected by the app’s end-to-end encryption feature.

Just after messaging application WhatsApp released a statement announcing that the platform has delayed the last date for its users to accept the new privacy policy, the company has also put up a WhatsApp status to help people understand the new privacy policy. 

The messaging app has updated its status on the app which was visible to all of its users. The platform has reiterated its commitment to maintaining the privacy of its users. In a series of statuses, the Facebook-owned company said, ‘WhatsApp can not read or listen to your conversation as they are end-to-end encrypted’, ‘WhatsApp can not see your shared location’, lastly ‘WhatsApp doesn’t share your contacts with Facebook’.

These messages were made visible to users just like any other user on the app. Whatsapp’ as the name appeared in place of the contact name. The move has followed after many people raised their concerns over safety with the updated privacy policy. The company has also added that it aims to protect user’s conversations with end-to-end encryption and neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can have access to these private messages.

What data does WhatsApp collect on messages? 

One of the biggest confusion that you might have is what data is collected by WhatsApp? Well, it has stated that it doesn’t store any user messages (that includes your chats, photos, videos, voice messages, files) once they are delivered and that messages are stored on the user’s device and not on the platform’s servers. Once your messages are delivered it states that it is deleted from the servers. 

According to the new policy, WhatsApp stores the messages in encrypted form in two cases -the Undelivered Messages and Media Forwarding. “For instance, if you are offline and if your message is not delivered instantly, then we tend to keep the undelivered messages on the platform’s servers for up to about 30 days and we try to deliver it. If a message remains undelivered after 30 days, we delete it,” it says. On Media forwarding condition, it mentions that when a user forwards media within a message, WhatsApp stores the media temporarily in the encrypted form on their servers to aid efficient delivery of additional forwards.

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