WhatsApp clarifies its new terms of service is for business chats
WhatsApp has been notifying users of its new terms of service that come into effect on February 8. The new policy change comes with this option to either agree to the updated terms or lose access to one’s WhatsApp account. This has naturally alarmed WhatsApp users especially considering Facebook’s poor reputation with user data. WhatsApp has now clarified on what the new terms mean for users, and their data.
The new WhatsApp terms explain the messaging app will share data with Facebook. Data includes personal details such as phone number, profile name and address book information. In a statement to The Verge, WhatsApp said that the new data policies are for users messaging businesses on the platform. WhatsApp added that this does not change how user data is currently handled by the company.
“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 furore over WhatsApp’s new policy changes even led to Elon Musk tweeting about it, and telling people to use Signal instead. Shortly after Signal announced it is facing shortage of verification codes with a host of people trying to sign up on the privacy-focused messaging app.
WhatsApp is still the most popular messaging app globally with over 1.4 billion users. This incident has surely caused an uproar but we’ll have to see how much of an impact it can actually make on WhatsApp’s user base.