Technology

WhatsApp says Brazilians who do not accept the new privacy policy may use the app for another 90 days

In January this year, WhatsApp announced that it would promote a change in its privacy policy, which, in principle, would authorize the sharing of information with Facebook companies

Request to update WhatsApp's privacy policy on the smartphone screen in Brazil
Request to update WhatsApp's privacy policy on the smartphone screen in Brazil, the second largest app market in the world. Photo: Rodrigo Ghedin
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  • Brazilian regulators pointed out that the privacy policy could represent violations to the rights of users’ personal data;
  • According to information from the Brazilian antitrust watchdog, in the new version, the WhatsApp details practices for handling users’ data, claiming not to expand the ability to share information with Facebook.

WhatsApp said it will not ban any accounts and that no users in Brazil will lose access to the app’s features in the 90 days after the new privacy policy goes into effect. The new terms of service rollout this Saturday, May 15th.

The statement from Facebook and WhatsApp was made in response to the recommendation issued by Brazilian regulators last Friday, which asked the app to delay the application of the new terms to mitigate effects on competition from the new policy.

READ ALSO: Brazil wants WhatsApp to postpone privacy policy changes

The companies met this week with Brazil‘s Administrative Council for Economic Defense, the Federal Public Ministry, the National Data Protection Authority, and the National Consumer Secretariat. It was agreed that in this period of 90 days the regulatory institutions will make new analyses and questionings. WhatsApp has made itself available for dialogue and clarification regarding the recommendations issued by the Brazilian Data Protection Authority and any other issues related to updating the terms of the application.

READ ALSO: WhatsApp postpones business resource update after privacy controversy

What will change with WhatsApp’s new policy?

In January this year, WhatsApp announced that it would promote a change in its privacy policy, which, at first, would authorize the sharing of information with Facebook companies.

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

After the announcement of changes, Brazilians flocked to apps like Signal and Telegram, which led Facebook to extend the entry into force of the new policy to provide users with additional information about privacy and security.

READ ALSO: Analysis: What changes in WhatsApp’s new privacy policy

According to information from Brazil‘s antitrust watchdog, in the new version, the app details practices for handling users’ data, stating that it does not expand the ability to share information with Facebook.

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

The Brazilian regulators pointed out that the privacy policy and data processing practices presented by WhatsApp could represent violations of user’s data rights. The institutions are also concerned about the potential harming on competition and consumer protection security.

READ ALSO: New WhatsApp privacy policy: users who do not accept will lose some app’s features

This is because, by the new privacy policy, Facebook would allow companies to outsource the storage and management of messages exchanged with customers to external providers, which could be done either by specialized companies or by Facebook itself.

READ ALSO: Facebook relaunches WhatsApp money transfers in Brazil

Brazilian authorities fear that WhatsApp will use user data to target ads and customize the user experience in other properties of the group: Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

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