An in-app notification was used to notify users of the platform of the privacy changes. As a result of this, many believed that that the update would mandate the sharing of important data with WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook.
In an FAQ session held by WhatsApp a few days ago, it was clarified that the update would not affect data sharing with Facebook in respect to delicate data of users like chats and profile information. The company claimed that the policy instead relates to the use of WhatsApp for business purposes.
WhatsApp has therefore announced a new date of update which is May 15. This is a major setback to the company as attempts to generate revenue through the update of WhatsApp’s business and shopping services will have to wait.
Elon Musk’s messaging app, Signal has been the major beneficiary of the confusion and has seen a significant rise in users in millions over the past weeks. This has made Facebook reconsider its stand on the new policy and shift the date users will be mandated to review and accept the terms.
WhatsApp actually shares limited data of users like phone numbers with its parent company, Facebook. However, the tech giants have assured users that neither of the companies can see their private conversations because it is protected with end-to-end encryption.
The three months delay in implementing the new policy will be used to give users more detailed information about the changes and convince them about privacy practices revolving around personal chats, location data, among other sensitive data.
WhatsApp also cleared the air regarding the potential loss of accounts that could occur as a result of not agreeing to the new terms of service and called it false and misleading. All in all, the company hopes that the extra time will allow them to get a grip of the situation and put it under control to bring back the trust that users once had in them.