Facebook’s WhatsApp Delays Update Of Business Features After Privacy Backlash

Following a huge amount of concerns from millions of its users who feared that the messaging platform was loosening its user data privacy policies, the Facebook Inc. owned messaging app WhatsApp has decided to delay its planned and announced update of its data privacy policy which was aimed at increasing business transactions on the platform.

A notification saying that the social media platform was preparing a new privacy policy and terms was sent to Whatsapp users earlier this month in which the company also said that after the changes and update in its policy, the company would have the right to share some of the data of its users with the social media platform Facebook and other companies owned by Facebook.

However that notification resulted in a global outcry against the update by WhatsApp and a significant number of its users chose to sign up with rival private messaging apps including Telegram and Signal.

Following this development, the messaging app company announced on Friday that it would not implement the update to its user data privacy policy until May. The company had planned to implement the privacy changes in February. It also said that the update was being implemented to allow users to message with businesses while assuring that the personal conversations of the users would not be affected by the update as such private messages will continue ot be guarded with end to end encryption.

“This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” the company said in a statement. “While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and it’s important people are aware of these services,” it added.

Facebook has been rolling out business tools on WhatsApp over the past year as it moves to boost revenue from higher-growth units like WhatsApp and Instagram while knitting together e-commerce infrastructure across the company.

Since having acquired WhatsApp in 2014 in a deal worth $19 billion, Facebook has been quite slow in monetize the messaging app even as its popularity and user base grew.

However the messaging app already shares some of the personal data of its users with Facebook which includes the phone number and IP addresses of the users.

“We don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook,” WhatsApp said in a statement.

In October last year, the company had announced its plans to offer users in-app purchases via Facebook Shops and would also allow those companies that uses its customer service messaging tools the liberty to store those business messages on servicers of Facebook.

At that time Whatsapp had said that the end to end encryption facility of the company would not be applicable to chats with a business that makes use of the new hosting service.

(Adapted from Reuters.com)

Categories: Entrepreneurship, Regulations & Legal, Strategy, Sustainability, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: