WhatsApp Logo
WhatsApp Logo
Photo Credit: Twitter

WhatsApp on Tuesday sent users a notification informing that its Terms of Service was being updated. And as millions of Indian users realised that they would have to agree to a new privacy policy unless they wanted their accounts to be deleted, the outrage began.

While the in-app notification did not elicit much details but clicking on the links clearly mentioned the key changes in how WhatsApp will collect and process users' information going forward, and the partnership with Facebook, its parent company, as part of a larger unification drive between the family of apps.

However, the company has clarified that the new terms of service only applies to users messaging business on the platform.

“As we announced in October, WhatsApp wants to make it easier for people to both make a purchase and get help from a business directly on WhatsApp. While most people use WhatsApp to chat with friends and family, increasingly people are reaching out to businesses as well. To further increase transparency, we updated the privacy policy to describe that going forward businesses can choose to receive secure hosting services from our parent company Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp. Though of course, it remains up to the user whether or not they want to message with a business on WhatsApp,” WhatsApp said in a statement to The Verge.

“The update does not change WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world. WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy. We are communicating directly with users through WhatsApp about these changes so they have time to review the new policy over the course of the next month,” the statement added.

The update comes in the wake of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's 2020 announcement that the company is working hard to merge Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. And as people read through the lengthy list of data that the app would be collecting under its updated policy, many have been crying foul.

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Free Press Journal