WhatsApp explains new privacy policy to customers as deadline nears


As the May 15 deadline for Facebook to implement the new privacy policy on WhatsApp, the tech giant has started explaining the policy to users in plain language.

On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, WhatsApp users around the world received an article from the messaging platform pointing out at least two key things that have been the main issues of contention in the new policy.

In their article they wrote “Before you review [the new terms and privacy policy] here are some things to know – We can’t read or listen to your personal conversation [with family and friends], as they are end-to-end encrypted. This will never change.”

The article also said “We’re are making it easier to chat with businesses to ask questions and get quick answers. Chatting with businesses is optional.”

The new WhatsApp privacy policy was said to be a strategy to make users agree to send all their WhatsApp information to their Facebook accounts so they will be available to more businesses for advertising purpose, which is what makes Facebook money.

But WhatsApp has denied that assertion, saying that “Your acceptance of the new Terms of Service does not expand WhatsApp’s ability to share user data with its parent company Facebook.”

Tech experts have explained that to mean that WhatsApp has been sharing users personal data with Facebook already, so this new policy is not what would “expand” what they are doing already.

Indeed, WhatsApp and Facebook’s claim that it does not share users personal information with businesses without the user’s consent has also been shot down as false because once the individual communicates with a business, that person’s data is available to be shared.

“Even though WhatsApp says communicating with businesses is optional, it is individuals who communicate with businesses so eventually, individuals’ personal data will be out there,” a critic said.

Facebook notoriety

Facebook has been notorious for taking advantage of its users without considering their privacy. Years back, they introduced a clause in the Messenger App, which compels users to give them access to their device camera, so they can switch it on and watch and listen to the user when he or she is not even aware.

All those policies were meant to collected insights for advertisers so they can clinically target users with specific products and services and pay Facebook billions of dollars. But that move was exposed and they backtracked.

Facebook is currently facing criticism for planning to take their insatiable crave for privacy breach to kids, by introducing Instagram for Kids, for children below age 13.

Child protection activists across the world have challenged the move and called on Facebook to quit it, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg have dismissed their concerns by saying children would also love to connect with their friends on social media.

Meanwhile, following the introduction of the new privacy policy, millions of WhatsApp users have either switched to or added on accounts with rival platforms like Signal and Telegram, making the two grow users exponentially overnight.

The two platforms are expanding their resources to welcome more users with a promise of full privacy protection and other forward-looking features.

Europe has stopped Facebook from implementing the new privacy policy on the continent and Apple has also given iPad and iPhone users to opportunity to opt out of giving out their data to Facebook while still using WhatsApp after May 15.


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