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WhatsApp to display banner in chats to give information on its privacy policy

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WhatsApp's updated terms and privacy policy will go into effect on May 15. This is how it plans to explain the changes to users.

WhatsApp's updated terms and privacy policy will go into effect on May 15. This is how it plans to explain the changes to users.

WhatsApp pushed its Terms of Service change from February 8 to May 15 following reaction from users globally. The Facebook-owned company calls this backlash "misinformation" and has not adequately explained what these changes mean. WhatsApp has now published a blog detailing how it will inform users about the policy change.

WhatsApp started putting status updates to convince users that the new ToS doesn't change anything for personal messages. It will now display a banner at the top of the chat list with more information about your updated privacy policy and ToS. This banner will appear in the next few weeks. WhatsApp will also remind people to review and accept these updates to continue using the messaging app.

WhatsApp explained how the changes to its privacy policy are primarily for businesses, and personal chats will not be affected. "Bigger businesses, like an airline or retailer, might hear from thousands of customers at a time - asking for information on a flight or trying to track their order. To quickly respond, these businesses may use Facebook as a technology provider to manage some of the responses on their behalf. We will clearly label chats to make you aware when that happens," WhatsApp said.

WhatsApp also investigated rival apps that have seen an increase in users after the backlash on its blog. "We've seen some of our competitors try to get away with claiming they can't see people's messages - if an app doesn't offer end-to-end encryption by default, that means they can read your messages," WhatsApp said in its blog.

Telegram and Signal are the most popular WhatsApp alternatives. Both are privacy-focused apps and have been found to collect less user information and data compared to WhatsApp.

WhatsApp's new privacy policy and Terms of Service will go into effect on May 15; before that, users will need to accept the terms to continue using the app.

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