On Saturday, Facebook-owned WhatsApp said its new update – which has attracted criticism from a multitude of users worldwide – explains company contact and does not change the social media giant’s data-sharing practices.
WhatsApp began carrying out in-app updates to users earlier this week about an update to its Terms of Service and Privacy Policies about how it handles user data and partners with Facebook to provide integrations across the products of the social media giant.
It also claimed that by February 8, 2021, in order to continue using WhatsApp’s service, users would have to adhere to the new terms and policies.
This kickstarted a spate of internet debates and memes about the supposed exchange of user information with Facebook by WhatsApp.
In the aftermath of growth, rival platforms such as Signal and Telegram are currently seeing a surge in downloads.
In the talk, Tesla leader Elon Musk also joined in asking people to quit WhatsApp.
WhatsApp Head Will Cathcart tried to express his thoughts on the matter in a series of tweets.
“to be transparent and to better describe optional people-to-business features”be transparent and describe optional people-to-business characteristics better.
This update describes business communication and does not alter the data sharing practices of WhatsApp with Facebook. It does not influence how individuals connect privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world,”It’s important for us to be clear, this update describes business communication and does not change WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices with Facebook. It does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world,”It is important for us to be clear.
Cathcart emphasized that it can not view private chats or calls with end-to-end encryption (E2E), and neither can Facebook, and that the company remains committed to E2E.
“We’re in a competition on privacy with others and that’s very good for the world. People should have choices in how they communicate and feel confident that no one else can see their chats. There are people who disagree with this, including some governments,” he said.
However, the tweets received varying responses from users, with many also pointing out concerns about the exchange of user information between WhatsApp and Facebook.
Meanwhile, in a blog, Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov alleged that Facebook’s WhatsApp turned to covert marketing and discovered bots spreading incorrect Telegram information on social media.
Durov also tried to explain “myths” allegedly promoted by WhatsApp about Telegram, which has more than 500 million users worldwide.
He said “myths” that the code for Telegram is not open source, that the business is Russian and that the network is not encrypted are all false.
Through his series of tweets, the signal app also joined the conversation. One of the tweets said: “Look at what you’ve done” and carried an image of the app on app stores across markets such as India, Germany, France, Austria, Finland, Hong Kong and Switzerland as the number one free app.