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Update won’t hit privacy of messages: WhatsApp

AGENCIES 

New Delhi, Jan 12: WhatsApp Tuesday said its latest policy update does not affect the privacy of mes-sages as the Facebook-owned com-pany sought to address concerns around security of user data on the platform.

 In a blogpost, WhatsApp em-phasised that it does not share users’ contact lists or data of groups with Facebook for ads purposes, and that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read messages or hear calls be-tween users on WhatsApp.

 Last week, WhatsApp had in-formed users of an update in its terms of service and privacy policy regarding how it processes user )-data and partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the social media giants products. It also stated that users will have to agree to the new terms and pol-icy by February 8, 2021, in order to continue using WhatsApp’s serv-ice. This kickstarted a spate of con-versations and memes on the In-ternet over WhatsApp’s alleged sharing of user information with Facebook, and many users have started shifting to rival platforms like Telegram and Signal.

 “We want to be clear that the pol-icy update does not affect the pri-vacy of your messages with friends or family in any wax Instead, this up-date includes changes related to mes-saging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides fur-ther transparency about how we col-lect and use data,” WhatsApp said.

 It added that WhatsApp accesses only the phone numbers from the address book (after getting welt permission) to make messaging fast and reliable, and that it doesn’t share contact lists with the other apps Facebook offers. “We use group membership to deliver messages and to protect our service from spam and abuse. We don’t share this data with Facebook for ads purposes. Again, these private chats are end-to-end encrypted so we can’t 

see their content,” it noted.

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