Privacy Policy: WhatsApp belays February 28 deadline for review

Daniel Fowler
January 18, 2021

Users of the instant messaging app will now have more time to accept the new terms instead of the earlier date of February 8, 2021. The company has written on its website, "You can know which of your information is private and which information is shared with our parent company Facebook".

The petitioner said the updated privacy policy of WhatsApp would adversely impact the citizens' fundamental right to privacy and is also fundamentally opposed to their representation.

"Today, high government officials like ministers and members of Parliament, judges, senior bureaucrats, defence personnel, crores of traders and well-known businessmen and so on use WhatsApp for sharing confidential and personal information and the compromise in the privacy policy would result in serious repercussions even for the national security of India", the plea says.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has announced delaying by three months the implementation of the new privacy policy that has faced a massive backlash with tens of millions of its users moving from the platform to rivals like Signal and Telegram.

On Wednesday, Telegram said it had surpassed 500 million active users globally.

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WhatsApp has said the data it shares from users outside the European Union and United Kingdom does not include messages, groups or call logs.

The policy change was originally scheduled to come into effect on February 8, the Facebook-owned company said. "We also can't see your shared location and we don't share your contacts with Facebook", the post said. With these updates, none of that is changing.

"The update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data", WhatsApp said in a post. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.

The ad states that the new privacy policy update "does not affect the privacy of your messages with your friends and family in any way" and that it only relates to interactions with businesses.

The damage, though, is mostly already done; people generally have a distrust of companies like Facebook with their privacy, and by hamming up its own new policy, WhatsApp has done likely irreparable damage to its brand and trustworthiness.

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