WhatsApp Delays Updated Privacy Policy After Upsetting Users

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WhatsApp has now delayed implementing its new privacy policy, after receiving a reaction from its users within a week. Whatsapp pushed the date of implementation from 8 February to May 2021.

WhatsApp user received the notification regarding the update with the option of “Agree or Not Now”, and if the user does not accept the policy till 8 February then the account of the user will suspend or delete from WhatsApp directly.

WhatsApp in its updated privacy policy stated about the sharing of data with its parent company Facebook and Instagram. This data will also be shared with third-party businesses.

WhatsApp admitted to the confusion and misinformation about the changes as well. Additionally, WhatsApp clear about it is not going to suspend or delete any user’s account on February 8.

WhatsApp has given three months to the user for proper review and accepts the policy. It also stated that the policy will come into the effect from May 15. In this article, we have a cover that how all this started and what is the current position.

WhatsApp updates privacy policy on January 4

In the early of this month and at the start of the year 2021 WhatsApp introduced its new privacy policy and asked its all users to aggress till February 8.

The new policy has stated much information including how the businesses use the parent company Facebook hosted services to store and manage their all WhatsApp chats.

The new Policy also stated that the new hosting service would not be protected by end-to-end encryption, how it will process all user data, more integration of Instagram with WhatsApp, and what data it will share with the parent company Facebook and third party users.

This policy of data sharing with Facebook and third party user, however, doesn’t apply to countries in the European Union that are administered by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) data protection regulations.

Would WhatsApp messages still be encrypted?

Yes, the end-to-end encryption of the personal message will continue, and hence no third party can read it.

What data of user’s does WhatsApp collect?

In the section “Information that we collect” of the privacy policy, WhatsApp stated the data it collects like, “signal strength, app version, battery level, browser information, mobile network, connection information like ISP or mobile operator, phone number, language, time zone, device IP address, device operations information, and identifiers (it will include the identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).

What data does WhatsApp collect on messages?

WhatsApp mentioned that it does not store any of the user’s data including photos, video, chats, voice, files, messages. Once they are delivered to the receiver, it stored on the receiver’s device and not on the WhatsApp server.

It stated that once the message delivers it delete from the servers. WhatsApp stores the message in encrypted format in two cases, if the message is undelivered and Media forwarding.

If the message is sent and it is not delivered immediately, because of a network issue or the sender is offline in this case WhatsApp will store the message for 30 days and try to deliver it, if it is still undelivered after 30 days, according to the privacy policy WhatsApp will delete it, On media forwarding, it states that, if user forward a media withing a message, WhatsApp will store it in the encrypted format on their server to support the effective delivery of added forwards.

What data will WhatsApp share with Facebook?

In the policy of WhatsApp, it mentioned that the user’s IP address, phone number, the mobile device information will be shared with the parent company Facebook, it includes the data sharing with Facebook already, however, this will affect the new policy as it is collecting more users data at device hardware-level now.

WhatsApp in privacy policy stated that “The information we share with the other Facebook Companies. includes user account registration information (such as user phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others user (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address, and may include other information identified in the Privacy Policy section named ‘Information We Collect’ or received upon notice to you or based on your consent,”

What type of payment data does WhatsApp collect?

WhatsApp mentioned in the privacy policy that if the user uses the payment service for buying something or do any other financial transaction, the information processed about the user also includes the information about the payment account and transaction.

“Payment account and transaction information include information needed to complete the transaction (for example, information about your payment method, shipping details, and transaction amount),” stated by WhatsApp.

Will there be Ads on WhatsApp?

WhatsApp stated in the policy that they are not allowing banner ads for now, but they can allow them in the future, and according to it the policy will be changed. It means they can update the privacy policy if they want to introduce such a feature.

What type of Options do users have?

If you want to continue using WhatsApp, the only option you have is to agree to their privacy policy. Otherwise, they could delete the account. However, not all data of users would be deleted.

The policy stated clearly that If you delete your account, it will not affect your information related to your groups or information about the other user who is linked with you.

“Please remember that when you delete your account, it does not affect your information related to the groups you created or the information about other users linked to you” Many users on social media platforms are upset with the move by WhatsApp and have suggested moving to other messaging apps including signal and telegram.

On January 7, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk tweeted regarding the issue and recommended to use a Signal app as an alternative to WhatsApp. According to the privacy policy of WhatsApp, it seems users have only two options right now either agree to the privacy policy of WhatsApp or move on to the other messaging app.

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