Credits: Wikimedia Commons

WhatsApp has been in hot waters in the past week, thanks to a policy change that has raised concerns regarding privacy on the platform. Today, the Facebook owned app has issued clarifications regarding this issue, claiming that the new update does not aim to infringe upon the privacy of its users.

In a statement, the company said that the new policy is aimed at how users interact with businesses on WhatsApp, and that personal chats will not be shared with its parent app- Facebook. To this end, WhatsApp mentioned the end to end encryption that it uses to secure chats, stating that neither the app itself, nor Facebook can see users’ private messages.

This includes location, which is also secured by end to end encryption. Thus, if someone sends their location to someone else through WhatsApp, Facebook or any of its other subsidiaries cannot access that information.

Moreover, it added that the platform does not share contacts with Facebook either. Instead, this data is used to make messaging fast and reliable.

The company also added that in contrast to mobile carriers, it does not keep logs of who its users call. “We believe that keeping these records for two billion users would be both a privacy and security risk and we don’t do it,” it added.

Lastly, it said that groups on the app remain private, which means that any data shared on groups is private and cannot be used by Facebook to serve ads.

WhatsApp also encouraged its users to turn on disappearing chats for an extra layer of security, which will delete chats after a certain interval of time.

The company said that the new update covers how WhatsApp sends data to Facebook only in case of communication with a business. This means that you will only be affected by the policy change if you choose to talk to businesses on the platform. Moreover, Facebook added that the businesses you talk to already have your data through the conversations you have with him, and possibly use it to serve ads (sometimes on Facebook itself).

This comes after many people started complaining about the new policy change, leading to a huge spike in demand for other alternatives, including Telegram and Signal. WhatsApp controls a massive stake in the messaging apps market, and it’s no surprise that it wants to keep it that way.