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WhatsApp scraps May 15 deadline for accepting controversial privacy policy update

WhatsApp had announced a privacy policy update in January 2021, which was to come into effect on February 8. However, the messaging app faced severe backlash over user concerns that data might be shared with parent company Facebook. Following this, the last date for accepting the policy update was pushed to May 15.

May 07, 2021 / 09:50 PM IST
WhatsApp | Source: Reuters

WhatsApp | Source: Reuters

WhatsApp on May 7 scrapped its May 15 deadline for users to accept its controversial privacy policy update. The Facebook-owned messaging platform has said that not accepting the terms will not lead to the deletion of WhatsApp accounts.

WhatsApp had announced a privacy policy update in January 2021, which was to come into effect on February 8. However, the messaging app faced severe backlash over user concerns that data might be shared with parent company Facebook. Following this, the last date for accepting the policy update was pushed to May 15.

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"We’ve spent the last few months working to clear up confusion and misinformation. As a reminder this update does not impact the privacy of personal messages for anyone," WhatsApp spokesperson Mugdha Wariyar said.

"Our goal is to provide information about new options we are building that people will have, to message a business on WhatsApp, in the future. While the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, we appreciate some people haven’t had the chance to do so yet. No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either," she added.

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Wariyar further said that WhatsApp will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks.

Notably, taking cognizance of concerns that the WhatsApp privacy policy update will entail more data sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook, the Competition Commission of India on March 25 ordered a probe against the messaging platform under Section 4 of the (Indian) Competition Act 2002, which prohibits enterprises holding a dominant position from abusing such a position.

With PTI Inputs
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