Business

WhatsApp postpones business resource update after privacy controversy

"This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook," it said in a statement

Whatsapp icon on a smartphone screen
Photo: Reuters/ Thomas White
  • WhatsApp said on Friday that it would delay the release of the new policy for May;
  • The update was focused on allowing users to send messages to businesses and that the update would not affect personal conversations, which will continue to have end-to-end encryption, said the company.

Facebook’s WhatsApp is postponing the update for use in business transactions after users’ concern that linked to changes in privacy policy.

Users received a notification this month that WhatsApp was preparing a new privacy policy and terms, and reserved the right to share some user data with Facebook.

This sparked global protests and a wave of new users for competing private messaging apps, including Telegram and Signal.

READ ON LABS: Millions flock to Telegram and Signal as fears grow over big tech

WhatsApp said on Friday that it would delay the release of the new policy for May and that the update was focused on allowing users to send messages to businesses and that the update would not affect personal conversations, which will continue to have end-to-end encryption.

“This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” it said in a statement.

“While not everyone buys with a company on WhatsApp today, we think more people will choose to do so in the future and it is important that people know about these services,” he said.

Facebook has been expanding business tools on WhatsApp, as it moves to increase revenue from higher-growth units, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, while merging the company’s e-commerce infrastructure.

READ ON LABS: Signal and Telegram see a meteoric growth after WhatsApp privacy policy controversy

Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, but it has been slow to monetize it. The application already shares certain categories of personal data, including the user’s phone number and IP address, with Facebook.

“We do not keep records of who is exchanging messages or calling. We also cannot see your shared location and we do not share your contacts with Facebook,” it said.

WhatsApp said in October that it would offer in-app purchases through Facebook stores and give companies that use customer service messaging tools the power to store those messages on Facebook servers.

WhatsApp said at the time that chats with a company using the new hosting service would not be protected by the application’s end-to-end encryption.

Translated by LABS

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