WhatsApp laid out fresh terms in January, aimed at increasing business transactions on the platform.
By Tasneem Akolawala | Updated: 19 February 2021 11:39 IST
WhatsApp reiterates that personal messages will always be end-to-end encrypted by default
WhatsApp asserts that policy change is focused on business conversations
WhatsApp had to pause the rollout in January after severe backlash
The policy update banner to start showing up for users in coming weeks
In its latest blog, WhatsApp has informed users that a new banner will start to be displayed once again in the coming weeks. The instant-messaging platform says that the banner will strive to offer more information and transparency around the new terms and conditions that users will be asked to agree to. Eventually, WhatsApp looks to start reminding people to review and accept these updates in order to keep using the app.
“We charge businesses to provide customer service on WhatsApp — not people. Some shopping features involve Facebook so that businesses can manage their inventory across apps. We display more information directly in WhatsApp so people can choose if they want to engage with businesses, or not,” the company said in the blog post.
Speaking about user data usage for building tools for business operations on WhatsApp, the company says: “We believe people are looking for apps to be both reliable and safe, even if that requires WhatsApp having some limited data. We strive to be thoughtful on the decisions we make and we'll continue to develop new ways of meeting these responsibilities with less information, not more.”
This means that while personal messages will be end-to-end encrypted, “limited data” may be captured by WhatsApp during business conversations. However, the company said that this will be used only for developing new features.
Speaking about users chatting with a business account on the platform, WhatsApp said that users will be in control about whether they want to share their number with a business or block it entirely. The company said that it will not share any phone numbers with businesses and will prohibit them from contacting users without first getting approval from the customer.
WhatsApp also said that accepting the new terms does not expand its ability to share user data with its parent company Facebook.
WhatsApp also took a jab at other apps that have been encashing on the WhatsApp controversy. “We've seen some of our competitors try to get away with claiming they can't see people's messages — if an app doesn't offer end-to-end encryption by default that means they can read your messages.”