WhatsApp delayed to launch update business feature after privacy backlash

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp is delaying an update aimed at increasing business transactions on the platform, which is a concern for users, leading to fears that the messaging platform was watering its privacy policy in the process.

FILE PHOTO: Whatsapp logo and binary cyber code are seen in this illustration taken on 26 November 2019. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

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

This brought global outrage and new users to competing private messenger apps, including Telegram and Signal.

WhatsApp said on Friday that it would delay launching the new policy from February to May, the update was focused on allowing users to message with businesses, and that the update does not affect personal interactions, which end- Two-end encryption will continue.

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

“Although not everyone purchases with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that in the future more people would prefer to do so and it’s important people know about these services,” he said.

Facebook has been rolling out business tools on WhatsApp since last year as it moves to increase revenue from high-growth units such as WhatsApp and Instagram, weaving together e-commerce infrastructure across the company.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $ 19 billion but the pace of demonetisation has been slow.

The app already shares certain categories of personal data with Facebook, including the user’s phone number and IP address.

“We do not keep logs of everyone’s messaging or calling. We also cannot see your shared location and we do not share your contacts with Facebook.

WhatsApp said in October that it would start offering in-app purchases through Facebook shops and would offer companies that use their customer service messaging tools to have the ability to store those messages on Facebook servers .

WhatsApp said at the time that chatting with a business using the new hosting service would not protect the app’s end-to-end encryption.

Reporting by Katie Paul in San Francisco and Munsif Vengtil in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Shaunak Dasgupta and Cynthia Osterman


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