The company after announcing the new policy has come under a severe setback. Some users left the messaging platform due to privacy concerns and switched to alternatives such as Signal and Telegram. Telegram announced that it had gained 25 million new users within 72 hours.
In an attempt to clarify its interpretation of the policy, WhatsApp reiterated its commitment to end-to-end encryption for messaging.
In a blog post titled: “Giving more time to our recent update,” WhatsApp said, “We’ve heard from so many people about how much confusion there is around our recent update. There has been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts.
“We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook.
“None of that changes with these updates. Instead, the update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.
“While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think more people will choose to do so in the future, and it’s important that people are aware of these services,” he said.
“This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.
“We are now moving the date when people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on Feb. 8.
“We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation about how privacy and security work on WhatsApp. We will then gradually get people to review the policies at their own pace before the new business options are available on May 15.
Thank you to everyone who’s reached out. We're still working to counter any confusion by communicating directly with @WhatsApp users. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on Feb 8 and we’ll be moving back our business plans until after May – https://t.co/H3DeSS0QfO
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 15, 2021
“WhatsApp has helped bring end-to-end encryption to people around the world, and we are committed to defending this security technology now and in the future.
“Thank you to everyone who reached out to us and to so many who helped spread facts and stop rumors. We will continue to do everything we can to make WhatsApp the best way to communicate privately.”