WhatsApp Answers Questions Regarding Privacy, Says Private Messages are Protected

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Facebook-owned WhatsApp has finally responded to the backlash it is receiving over the last five days. Ever since WhatsApp started pushing users to accept its new privacy policy, the entire world is criticising the popular instant messaging platform. Replying to the concerns it received, WhatsApp said the private messages are still protected on its platform. WhatsApp also cleared that the policy update does not affect the privacy of user messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, the new privacy is more about the changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional. It also added that the new privacy policy is all about WhatsApp being 'transparent' about how the data is collected and used.

WhatsApp Clears User Concerns Regarding New Privacy Policy

In the long FAQ post, WhatsApp reaffirmed that it can't see the private messages or hear voice calls of the users. "Neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read your messages or hear your calls with your friends, family, and co-workers on WhatsApp," said WhatsApp. This is because of the end-to-end encryption that's been in place for years now. WhatsApp also stated it would never weaken the security and labels each chat to show its commitment towards privacy. Furthermore, WhatsApp will not keep the logs of user chats or voice calls.

The top messaging platform also added that the location shared by users with someone on WhatsApp would not be stored, and yes, the location data is also protected by end-to-end encryption.

One of the major concern for WhatsApp users was contact sharing with Facebook. Replying to this concern, WhatsApp said it would not share contacts with Facebook or any of its platforms. However, WhatsApp will access the phone numbers from the address book to make messaging fast and reliable. Lastly, WhatsApp said that 'WhatsApp Groups' will remain private and the data will not be shared with Facebook for ads purpose. Again, these private chats are end-to-end encrypted so WhatsApp or Facebook can’t see the content.

WhatsApp Says the New Privacy Policy Only Affects Business Users

In the same FAQ post, WhatsApp confirmed that Facebook would host its business services going forward. WhatsApp believes that messaging with businesses is different than messaging with the family or friends. As WhatsApp expands its business service, large businesses might require its hosting services to manage communication. This is why the company is giving the option for such businesses to use secure hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions, and send helpful information like purchase receipts.

Here comes the major part: WhatsApp says if a user communicates with a business by phone, email or WhatsApp, it can see what a user is saying and may use that information for its own marketing purposes, including advertising on Facebook. To make sure the user is informed, WhatsApp clearly labels conversations with businesses that are choosing to use hosting services from Facebook.

Moving on, WhatsApp talked about new commerce features. With Facebook-brand commerce features like Shops, some businesses will display their goods right within WhatsApp so people can see what's available to buy. If you choose to interact with Shops, the shopping activity can be used to personalise your Shops experience and the ads you see on Facebook and Instagram. However, WhatsApp confirmed that such features are optional and when a user uses them, it will notify within the app on how the data is being shared with Facebook.

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Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

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