'Want to address some rumours.': Amid debate over updated Privacy Policy, WhatsApp issues clarification

Over the last week, as WhatsApp updated its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, many have protested the company's data sharing practices. Released as a part of Facebook's efforts to integrate the apps under it, the update offers details about it processes user data and partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the social media giant's products. Users are not being given a choice - they must agree with the new terms and policy by February 8 unless they want to lose access to their WhatsApp accounts.

And as the debate continued, many have taken to offering up alternative platforms - such as Signal or Telegram - even as others vow to stop using WhatsApp. In Turkey for example, officials (including the Defence Ministry) are switching from WhatsApp to BiP.

Now, in a bid to stop the fallout, WhatsApp has issued a clarification. "We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption," the company tweeted sharing a graphic.

"Neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read your messages or hear your calls with your friends, family, and co-workers on WhatsApp. Whatever you share, it stays between you," WhatsApp explains. Not only this, according to the company, they don't keep logs of why people are messaging or calling, and neither Facebook nor WhatsApp can see a person's shared location.

"Our privacy policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family," the company tweeted. It explained that the new update was also aimed at ensuring secure messaging businesses of all sizes on WhatsApp. "We want to make this easier and better if you choose to message with businesses," an FAQ adds.

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