WhatsApp Says No Change In Data-Sharing Practices With FB, Update Focuses On Business Communication

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Amid controversy over Whatsapp’s new privacy policy and users switching to Telegram and Facebook, the instant messaging app issued a statement on Saturday that its latest update describes business communication and does not change its data-sharing practices with Facebook. The company is owned by social media giant Facebook.

Also Read: Explained | WhatsApp’s New Update Raises Alarm, Here Are 11 Reasons Why Users Are Switching To Telegram

The update will make it easier for people to make purchases and get help from businesses on the messaging platform, Will Cathcart, head of Whatsapp said in a tweet on Saturday

“While most people use WhatsApp to chat with friends and family, increasingly people are reaching out to businesses as well. We updated the privacy policy to describe that, going forward, businesses can choose to receive secure hosting services from our parent company Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp, ”Will Cathcart said.

It remains up to the user whether or not they want to message a business on WhatsApp, Will Cathcart said.

“The update does not change WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices with Facebook and WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy,” Will Cathcart added.

The company is communicating directly with users through WhatsApp about the changes so that they can review the new policy over the next month.

Earlier this week, WhatsApp had started rolling out in-app notifications to users about an update in its terms of service and privacy policy regarding how it processes user data and partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the social media giant’s products.

It also stated that users will have to agree to the new terms and policy by February 8, 2021, in order to continue using WhatsApp’s service.

Signal, Telegram

Rival platforms like Signal and Telegram are considering seeing a surge in downloads in the wake of the development. Tesla Chief Elon Musk had also joined in the conversation, asking people to leave WhatsApp.

Also Read | Time To Move On From WhatsApp To Signal? 5 Reasons Why You Should Download This Messaging App

Founder of Telegram

Meanwhile, Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov – in a blog – alleged that Facebook’s WhatsApp has switched to covert marketing and it has detected bots that spread inaccurate information about Telegram on social media.

Durov also sought to clarify “myths” that are allegedly being pushed by WhatsApp about Telegram that has over 500 million users globally.

He said “myths” that Telegram’s code is not open-source, that the company is Russian and that the platform is not encrypted – are all incorrect.

Signal app also joined the conversation with its series of tweets. One of the tweets said: “Look at what you’ve done” and carried a picture of the app showing as the number one free app on the app stores across markets like India, Germany, France, Austria, Finland, Hong Kong, and Switzerland.

In another tweet, it said: “There are no terms of service for a mother’s love”, taking a dig at the ongoing controversy. This kickstarted a spate of conversations and memes on the internet over WhatsApp’s alleged sharing of user information with Facebook.

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