WhatsApp to delay launch of update business features after privacy backlash

Platform News: Opening the WhatsApp app on a smartphone

WhatsApp is delaying an upgrade aimed toward increasing business transactions on the stage after a storm of concern from users who feared that the messaging platform was watering down its privacy policy at the process.

WhatsApp users obtained a telling this month it was planning a new privacy policy and terms, and it allowed the right to share a few consumer data using the Facebook app.

That sparked international outcries along with a rush of new customers to rival private messaging apps including Telegram and Signal.

The Facebook-owned app stated on Friday that it might delay the new policy launch to May from the planned February, the update was focused on enabling users to message with companies, which the upgrade does not affect personal conversations, which will continue to have end-to-end encryption.

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

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“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 stated.

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

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 but was slow to market it.

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

“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,” it stated.

WhatsApp said in October that it might begin to provide in-app purchases via Facebook Shops and would provide companies who use its customer service messaging programs the ability to store those messages on Facebook servers.

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WhatsApp said at the time that talks with a company using the hosting service wouldn’t be protected from the app’s end-to-end encryption.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to other languages via Google Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Katie Paul in San Francisco and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru. Additional reporting by Elizabeth Culliford. Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Cynthia Osterman.

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