San Francisco: WhatsApp on Friday postponed a data-sharing change as users concerned about privacy fled the Facebook-owned messaging service and flocked to rivals Telegram and Signal.
This smartphone app is popular worldwide. It canceled the February 8 deadline, accepted the updated terms of sharing data with Facebook, and said it would use this suspension to eliminate misinformation about privacy and security. .
“We ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.
“This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.”
It said it would instead “go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.”
The update concerns how merchants using WhatsApp to chat with customers can share data with Facebook, which could use the information for targeted ads, according to the social network.
“We can t see your private messages or hear your calls, and neither can Facebook,” WhatsApp said in an earlier blog post.
“We don t keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling. We can t see your shared location and neither can Facebook.”
Location data along with message contents is encrypted end-to-end, according to WhatsApp.
“We re giving businesses the option to use secure hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions, and send helpful information like purchase receipts,” WhatsApp said in a post.
“Whether you communicate with a business by phone, email, or WhatsApp, it can see what you re saying and may use that information for its own marketing purposes, which may include advertising on Facebook.”
Technical experts pointed out that WhatsApp’s new requirements for users make the law binding, and the policy has been widely used since 2016.
Facebook aims to monetize WhatsApp by allowing businesses to connect with customers through the platform, which allows the Internet giant to naturally centralize some data on its servers.