WhatsApp is the biggest messaging service on the planet, and with that, comes a lot of responsibility. A recent policy change has sparked a large controversy, with many people worried that WhatsApp is trying to infringe upon their privacy. With this, many people are leaving the platform, and gravitating towards alternatives like Signal and Telegram. Under these new circumstances, WhatsApp has decided to delay the roll out of this new update, pushing it back to May 15th.
WhatsApp is a free to use platform, and thus, Facebook has been trying to find some way for it to create revenue. Now, the company intends to use it to transfer data to its main app, and use that for targeted ads. Moreover, it took away the power to choose from its users, saying that anyone who does not agree to the new terms and conditions will have their account suspended on Feb 8th.
However, many users came to the wrong conclusion that WhatsApp will be sending their personal data to Facebook, a misunderstanding that the company cleared recently.
The platform says that this policy change only pertains to data that is sent to business chats, which means that any private chats will still be completely hidden, both from WhatsApp and Facebook thanks to end to end encryption. Moreover, it said that businesses get your data automatically when you engage in a chat, and may use it to serve ads, sometimes on Facebook itself.
However, the clarification was not enough, as the backlash continued to grow. Thus, the company has decided to push back the deadline for people to accept the policy change, changing it from February 8th to May 15th.
“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” WhatsApp said in its blog post.
The company says that it will do a lot more to clear up the air before the new deadline kicks in.
This comes as no surprise, as the messaging service has been losing public faith ever since the policy change was announced, and pushing the update on a rebelling user base will only serve to do more harm.