Last month, Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced that it would delay enforcing its new privacy terms, retreating from confused users, which would later lead to a legal challenge and various regulatory investigations in India. WhatsApp users had mistaken the privacy update as a sign that the app would start sharing more data with Facebook – as well as their private messages. Today, the company is sharing next steps to try to rectify the issue and clarify that it is not.
The misunderstanding of the privacy update from WhatsApp caused widespread confusion and misinformation. In fact, WhatsApp had been sharing some information about its users with Facebook since 2016 following its acquisition by Facebook.
But the backlash is a tangible sign of much user trust ever since Facebook has shocked. People immediately suspected the worst to happen, and millions of alternative messaging apps, such as Signal and Telegram, fled as a result.
After the outrage, WhatsApp attempted to explain that the privacy update was actually focused on alternative business features on the app, which allow a business to view the content of messages between it and the end user, and allow businesses to use that information Gives its own marketing purpose including advertising on Facebook. WhatsApp also said that it labels interactions with businesses that are using hosting services from Facebook to manage their chats with customers, so users were aware.
In the weeks following the debacle, WhatsApp says it spent time getting user feedback and listening to the concerns of people from different countries. The company found that users wanted assurance that WhatsApp is No Reading their private messages or listening to their conversations, and that their communications were encrypted end-to-end. Users also said that they wanted to know that WhatsApp was not keeping logs to whom they were sending messages or sharing contact lists with Facebook.
These latter concerns are valid, given that Facebook has recently made its messaging system interoperable on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. One wonders when similar integration will make its way onto WhatsApp.
Today, WhatsApp says it will roll out new communications to users about the privacy update, which is aimed at clarifying the points of confusion following the status update introduced back in January (see below).
In a few weeks, WhatsApp will begin rolling out a small, in-app banner asking users to re-review privacy policies – a change the company says has led users to pop-up, full-screen alerts Has given priority. It was displayed first.
When users click “to review”, they will be shown an in-depth summary of the changes, including additional details about how WhatsApp works with Facebook. WhatsApp updates do not affect the privacy of users’ conversations, and replicate information about optional business features.
Eventually, WhatsApp will begin to remind users to use WhatsApp to review and accept their updates. As per its earlier announcement, it will not implement the new policy until 15 May.
Users still need to know that their communications with businesses are not as secure as their private messages. It affects a growing number of WhatsApp users, of which 175 million now communicate with businesses on the app, WhatsApp said in October.
In today’s blog post about the changes, WhatsApp made a big swipe at the rival messaging app, using the confusion over privacy updates to tap into WhatsApp’s fleeing users by tapping the privacy of their own apps Does.
WhatsApp’s blog post stated, “We’ve seen some of our contestants trying to get away with the claim of seeing people’s messages – if an app doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption then its Meaning they can read your message “Read.
This seems to be a comment specifically directed towards Telegram, often offering its “heavily encrypted” messaging app as a more private option. But Telegram does not offer end-to-end encryption by default, as apps like WhatsApp and Signal do. It uses “transport layer” encryption that protects the user’s connection to the server, a wired article citing cyberspace professionals explained in January. When users want an end-to-end encrypted experience for their one-on-one chat, they can enable the “secret chat” feature instead. (And this feature is also not available for group chat.)
In addition, WhatsApp fought against characterization saying that it is somehow less secure because it has some limited data on users.
“Other apps say they are better because they have less information than whatsapp. We believe that people are looking for the application to be both reliable and secure, even though WhatsApp requires some limited data for this, ”the post read. He said, “We try to be thoughtful on the decisions that we make and we will continue to develop new ways of meeting these responsibilities with less information, not more”.