WhatsApp halts controversial privacy update by three months after facing backlash

WhatsApp has decided to postpone its privacy upgrades for business chats by three months, with controversy and debate regarding messaging services and privacy swirling around the world and especially in India. WhatsApp will implement a new policy from May 15, 2021, rather than February 08, 2021. The company stated that on February 8, no users would have their accounts disabled or deleted.

“We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update,” WhatsApp said in a blog post. “This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.” It said it would instead “go-to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.”

The en masse migration to alternative messaging channels like Telegram and Signal has been advocated by several users. Since changing its privacy policy, stating that it will share user information withholding company Facebook, as well as its community firms, including Instagram, WhatsApp’s downloads, have dropped by 35 per cent. As per Sensor Tower information, Signal managed to rack up 2.3 million downloads between January 6 and 10, whilst Telegram recorded 1.5 million new downloads and installs over the same period.

With over 400 million users, India remains WhatsApp’s largest market, according to the figures revealed by the company last year. The Government of India is supposedly looking to investigate WhatsApp and explore the potential breaches of privacy triggered by the latest WhatsApp update.

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