Following a Vocal Backlash, WhatsApp Delays Its Privacy-Related Changes by Three Months

Following a Vocal Backlash, WhatsApp Delays Its Privacy-Related Changes by Three Months

After its move to share more user data with parent company Facebook, WhatsApp has now announced in a blog post that it will delay the implementation of the new features by three months. 

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The instant messaging app had previously announced that users will be required to agree to the new terms and conditions by February 8, 2021, in order to continue using the app. It’s clear that the significant user backlash against the proposal has forced WhatsApp/Facebook to hold back this policy change. 

“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.

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Though the clarification is welcome, it’s worth pointing out that the security of private and group messages was never under the scanner. This is because WhatsApp adopted end-to-end encryption for messages a few years ago, though apps like Telegram have offered the same features for much longer. 

In light of the recent criticisms and bad press received by WhatsApp, the company also resorted to taking full front-page ads on Indian daily newspapers clarifying portions of its controversial policy. 

Though the policy has been delayed by three months, it hasn’t been scrapped altogether. So unless Facebook has a change of heart between now and then, the controversy is likely to be revived in three months. 

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