WhatsApp defers deadline for implementing privacy policy update

The company has not cited any specific reason for deferring the implementation of the privacy policy update

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 8, 2021 9:22 AM

Mobile messaging app WhatsApp has deferred the 15th May deadline for users to accept its controversial privacy policy update. The platform also clarified that the accounts of users will not be deleted if they don't accept the update.

The company has not cited any specific reason for deferring the implementation of the privacy policy update.

WhatsApp has been facing all-round criticism for its new privacy policy. Apart from the public backlash, the platform's policy is also being probed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The union government has also spoken out against the roll-out of the new policy.

"No accounts will be deleted on May 15 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 told PTI.

The spokesperson claimed that a majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them while some people have not had the chance to do so yet. The company did not divulge the number of users who have accepted the terms so far.

WhatsApp had unveiled its updated privacy policy in January and had given users time till 8th February to accept the same in order to continue using the service. However, the platform was forced to defer the implementation of the new policy update due to severe criticism over the issue of user privacy and data protection.

Soon, users started leaving WhatsApp in droves to join rival platforms like Signal and Telegram due to their commitment to protecting user data.
WhatsApp's clarification that all private messages remain end-to-end encrypted failed to convince the users. The platform had emphasised that it does not share users' contact lists or data of groups with Facebook for advertisement purposes.

The CCI had recently contended before the Delhi High Court that WhatsApp's new privacy policy would lead to excessive data collection and stalking of consumers for targeted advertising to bring in more users.

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