WhatsApp on Friday announced that it has postponed its planned privacy update, which will give users more time to review the policy and accept the terms of the Facebook-owned messaging app.
The decision to postpone the privacy update has been taken due to “misinformation causing concern” among people, the company said. “We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” the blog post reads.
Media reports say that since the announcement of the privacy update many users and some media outlets interpreted the notification as a marked shift in WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices, mistakenly believing that the company could now read people’s conversations and other personal data.
The concerns resulted in people switching to other messaging services such as Signal and Telegram. This week, Signal became the No. 1 app in India, one of WhatsApp’s biggest markets, on Apple and Android phones, the NYT said.
Reassuring people on these concerns, the company said, “the update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. 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. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.”