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WhatsApp finally clarifies on updated privacy policy: 7 things you should know

WhatsApp reiterated that private messages are end-to-end encrypted and the company does not keep logs of anything.

  • WhatsApp says it will not have access to private messages and cannot hear voice calls
  • The updated privacy policy includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp
  • WhatsApp users must agree to the new privacy policy or delete their account

WhatsApp recently updated its privacy policy and terms of services that said it will collect users’ location, device model, operating system, battery level, browser details, payment processing method, transactions, and much more. The social media giant is making it mandatory for users to either agree to these terms or delete their WhatsApp account. This didn’t go down well with millions of users across the globe as they started looking for a better alternative like Signal, Telegram, among others. Now, responding to the theories that have been surfacing on the internet over the last few days, WhatsApp has clarified seven of its key privacy policies that are apparently misunderstood.

The popular chat application says that its “privacy policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.”

WhatsApp reiterated that private messages are end-to-end encrypted and the company does not keep logs of messages or calls. The social media giant clarified that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see your shared location and your contacts are not shared with Facebook. WhatsApp groups will remain private and users can set messages to disappear.

WhatsApp says that some large businesses need to use hosting services to manage their communication. For that, it is giving businesses the option to use hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers. However, when users communicate with a business either by phone, email, or WhatsApp, it can see what you’re saying and may use that information for marketing purposes, which could include pushing ads on Facebook. WhatsApp says that it will label conversations with businesses that are choosing to use hosting services from Facebook.

When users shop on Facebook’s commerce features like Shops, some businesses will display their products right within WhatsApp so they can see what’s available to buy. When a user interacts with Shops, the shopping activity can be used to personalise the shopping experience and the ads you see on Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp says these features are optional and will tell users in the app how their data is being shared with Facebook. Lastly, Facebook will have a ‘message a business using WhatsApp’ button below an ad, making it easy to message that business. However, it may use the way users interact with these ads to personalise the ads they see on the platform.