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WhatsApp Says Privacy Policy Changed to Address Business Accounts, Consumer Chats Unaffected

WhatsApp privacy policy changes, that will go into effect next month, look to address data-sharing practices between WhatsApp and Facebook business accounts.

WhatsApp Says Privacy Policy Changed to Address Business Accounts, Consumer Chats Unaffected

WhatsApp is asking all users to accept the new privacy policy before February 8

Highlights
  • WhatsApp clarifies new privacy policy does not affect consumer accounts
  • Businesses can opt for hosting services from Facebook if they wish to
  • WhatsApp users can choose to not talk to businesses

WhatsApp recently updated its privacy policy and terms of service. The move has caused quite a stir, with reports claiming that it makes sharing data with Facebook mandatory. However, WhatsApp has issued an official statement clarifying that its data-sharing practices with Facebook have not changed. The changes that will go into effect next month look to address data sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook business accounts. The instant messaging platform says that nothing will change when it comes to consumer chats, i.e., for WhatsApp accounts not used for business purposes.

In a detailed statement to The Verge, WhatsApp has offered clarity on what has really changed in its new privacy policy. The new policy looks to go into effect from February 8 this year and all iPhone and Android users are getting a pop-up notifying them about this change. WhatsApp notes that users must agree to these terms to continue using the app after it goes into effect next month.

Here is the full statement from WhatsApp published by The Verge:

As we announced in October, WhatsApp wants to make it easier for people to both make a purchase and get help from a business directly on WhatsApp. While most people use WhatsApp to chat with friends and family, increasingly people are reaching out to businesses as well. To further increase transparency, we updated the privacy policy to describe that going forward businesses can choose to receive secure hosting services from our parent company Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp. Though of course, it remains up to the user whether or not they want to message with a business on WhatsApp.

The update does not change WhatsApp's data sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world. WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people's privacy. We are communicating directly with users through WhatsApp about these changes so they have time to review the new policy over the course of the next month.

This detailed clarification from WhatsApp comes soon after Elon Musk, now the richest person in the world, tweeted to ‘use signal'. This led to new registrations for Signal in masses, that even caused verification code delays across several network providers.


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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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