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WhatsApp Privacy Policy Take 2: What is app saying now and what about May 15 deadline, full story here

WhatsApp has come up with a new campaign to let people know what they mean when they say that the policies are going to change.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | February 19, 2021 | Updated 10:28 IST

Highlights

  • WhatsApp has not had a smooth sail in the last few months and the reason is its privacy policy.
  • WhatsApp wants to curb the misinformation around the policy with the help of a new campaign.
  • Whatsapp had said that the new services will go live on February 8 but the date was later pushed to May 15.

WhatsApp has not had a smooth sail in the last few months and the reason is its privacy policy. The Facebook-owned messaging app came under the scanner over its new terms of service due to which several WhatsApp users flocked other messaging apps like Signal and Telegram. As a result of which, WhatsApp delayed the rollout of its new privacy policy. But now as WhatsApp is gearing for the release, it wants to curb the misinformation around the policy with the help of a new campaign.

WhatsApp has been accused of forcing people to accept its new privacy policy. When the company first made an announcement about the policies, it gave a deadline to the users to either accept the terms of service or lose access to their WhatsApp. This irked most users as it seemed like a desperate effort to make users accept whatever terms and conditions they have in store. It was speculated that WhatsApp wants to read the private conversations of users and share the information with Facebook. In January, WhatsApp had notified the users about changes in its policies through an in-app notification. Whatsapp had said that the new services will go live on February 8 but the date was later pushed to May 15.

What is WhatsApp saying now?

WhatsApp now wants to educate the users and fight misinformation regarding the new policies. It has come up with a new campaign to let people know what they mean when they say that the policies are going to change. "Today we're sharing updated plans for how we'll ask WhatsApp users to review our terms of service and privacy policy. We previously encountered a great deal of misinformation about this update and we continue to work hard to clear up any confusion," WhatsApp said in a blog.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp used Status to assure users of its commitment to their privacy. Users spotted Status updates from a contact named WhatsApp at the top of their Status section. Through the Statuses, WhatsApp has tried address the concerns of the users and assured them of safeguarding their privacy policy. Statuses like "WhatsApp can't read or listen to your personal conversations as they're end-to-end encrypted" and "One thing that isn't new is our commitment to your privacy" were updated for the users.

As a part of the new campaign, WhatsApp will now display a small banner at the top of the chat window. WhatsApp will start rolling out the small banners for users in a couple of weeks. Through the banner, WhatsApp will inform users about how the policies will change and how much information will WhatsApp collect. Users will be given the choice to first review the policies and then accept them.

The banner will appear at the top of the chat and in order to read them, users will have to tap on the "Tap to review". Once rolled out, WhatsApp will keep reminding users to read the terms of service and then accept the new update.

What about the May 15 deadline?

When WhatsApp first informed the users about its new privacy policies. It informed users that it will go live on February 8. But after facing severe backlash, WhatsApp pushed the date to May 15. While the dates have changed, the terms and conditions remain the same.

The new privacy policy will go live on May 15. Users are required to accept the terms and conditions in order to use the services. If you do not accept, you will not be able to continue using WhatsApp. However, now WhatsApp has provided ample clarity about what it truly means and whether it will access the personal chats of users. The Facebook-owned messaging app has assured that the chats are end-to-end encrypted.

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