WhatsApp delays data-sharing change after backlash
Resets its Feb 8 deadline for accepting tweak over privacy issues
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.
The smartphone app, a huge hit across the world, cancelled its February 8 deadline for accepting an update to its terms concerning sharing data with Facebook, saying it would use the pause to clear up misinformation around 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.