WHATSAPP PRIVACY POLICY: 15 MAY DEADLINE DEFERRED, ACCOUNTS OF USERS WHO DO NOT ACCEPT NEW POLICY WILL NOT BE DELETED

WhatsApp announced its new privacy policy update and Terms of Service for its users back in January this year. The policy was widely criticized for breach of privacy as it suggested sharing user data with its parent company Facebook in an encrypted manner. To tackle the misinformation regarding the update, WhatsApp extended the deadline to accept the terms from 8 February to 15 May. However, last Friday, 7 May, WhatsApp deferred the 15 May deadline. This means WhatsApp will not delete the accounts of users who do not wish to accept the update.

“No accounts will be deleted on 15 May because of this update, and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

As per the company blog post, “WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages.”

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy update

Earlier this year, users received a notification regarding the policy update. This update revealed how WhatsApp processes user data, how businesses can use Facebook-hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats, and how they partner with Facebook to offer integrations across the Facebook Company Product.

On WhatsApp’s website, to reveal the specific of how it processes user data, the company says, “when a user forwards media within a message, we store that media temporarily in encrypted form on our servers to aid in the more efficient delivery of additional forwards.” In terms of updates, WhatsApp maintains. “We do not retain your messages in the ordinary course of providing our Services to you. Instead, your messages are stored on your device and not typically stored on our servers. Once your messages are delivered, they are deleted from our servers.”

WhatsApp also says, “if any of your contacts aren’t yet using our Services, we’ll manage this information for you in a way that ensures we cannot identify those contacts.”

In the update, WhatsApp also talks about payments and transactions. It says, “If you use our payments services, or use our Services meant for purchases or other financial transactions, we process additional information about you, including payment account and transaction information. Payment account and transaction information include information needed to complete the transaction (for example, information about your payment method, shipping details, and transaction amount). If you use our payments services available in your country or territory, our privacy practices are described in the applicable payments privacy policy.”

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