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WhatsApp clarifies the latest privacy policy, confirming that individual chats remain ‘private’ even after update

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This clarification came in the midst of a big discussion surrounding the privacy policy that is scheduled to take implementation on February 8 of this year.

WhatsApp Privacy Policy: After last week, because of its updated privacy policy, which it has required all users to agree to, the instant messaging company WhatsApp has faced strong criticism. Because of this lack of choice and the abolition of points indicating user privacy in exchanging data with the parent company Facebook, people have been giving the messaging app a difficult time, with some even switching to alternative platforms. Nevertheless, now, WhatsApp has released a clarification on the new rules, saying that the changes will not impact individual chats at all.

In a few posts shared on the Twitter microblogging site, the Facebook-owned platform said that the privacy policy update would in no way affect the privacy of the chats of users with their friends and family, as the messages sent on chats would continue to be secured by end-to-end encryption.

WhatsApp claimed that the users of messages sent to each other could not see either WhatsApp or Facebook, and they could not hear the conversations over calls either. The site itself did not keep a record of who was texting or calling whom, apart from that, and the WhatsApp groups were also private. In addition, WhatsApp or Facebook may also not be accessed by the location shared by users. The instant messaging site also said it won’t share the contacts of anyone with Facebook. It said users could also set their messages to disappear for additional safety, and they could download their own data.

The platform said in a newly released FAQ page that the latest update was more relevant to the management of businesses on WhatsApp, which is an optional feature companies are using as it offers several additional features that help business-to-customer contact operate properly.

The platform frequently highlighted, among the clarifications on the FAQ pages, that all messages sent on private individual or group chats are protected by end-to-end encryption, including the location one user shares with another. In addition, it also mentioned that while telecom service providers maintain call and message records, WhatsApp decides not to do so for its 2 billion users, because it believes that it would be an incredible risk to privacy and security.

Contacts accessed by WhatsApp was only supposed to provide a fast messaging channel for users, it said, and WhatsApp did not share these contacts with Facebook.

As for companies, the platform said that the experiences of users with WhatsApp business accounts, clearly indicated in the chat, can be used by companies to enhance their own marketing, and companies can often choose to share this information with Facebook. This means that Facebook will collect user chats with companies about any questions, their shopping activities, their purchase receipts, and interaction with companies through Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to customize advertisements and shopping experiences and marketing materials across the three social media platforms owned by Facebook, WhatsApp said.

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Written by Jasspreet Kaur

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