Privacy update will not impact private chats: WhatsApp

New Delhi: WhatsApp, the messaging giant owned by Facebook, said its new privacy update will not impact how people communicate privately with friends and family wherever they are in the world.

The update will make it easier for people to make purchases and get help from businesses on the messaging platform, a company spokesperson said on Friday.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

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

“The update does not change WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices with Facebook and WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy,” the spokesperson 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. WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, announced on Monday, raised concerns over the extent of data-sharing with parent company Facebook.

Privacy experts said it would enable the messaging app to share much more commercial user data with Facebook.

Users who don’t accept the updated privacy policy, which comes into force in February, won’t be able to access chats on the platform, according to alerts sent to some Indian users this week.

Sharing data with Facebook will help “personalisation” of content and the display of relevant advertisements across the group’s multiple social platforms, WhatsApp said in a blog post on January 4. It also enables users to interlink services such as a Facebook Pay account to pay for purchases on the messaging app. (AGENCIES)

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