Last week, WhatsApp published its updated privacy policies and it sent the entire world into a panic, especially those obsessed with security. The company announced it would pass on certain kinds of user data to Facebook in order to improve the experiences. Ever since then, the media has been firing the siren on making the switch to Signal, Telegram, and other secure messaging platforms. Well, WhatsApp says it is still secure, as is evident from its latest blog post. Also Read - Facebook's ad delivery system shows gender bias: Study
In a detailed post explaining the basic privacy policies, WhatsApp has clarified how it treats personal data and messages of users. It clearly mentions that the platform does not read the messages between you and your recipient, thanks to the end-to-end encryption in place. It also mentions it cannot hear your calls and neither can its parent company Facebook. The company also mentions it does not keep a log of an individual’s messages or calls. Also Read - WhatsApp Desktop, Web keyboard shortcuts for Mac and Windows laptop, PC: Check full list
This is what Facebook will have access to
-The company clarifies that Facebook’s ad service can read your chats with business, if the latter has opted for its secure hosting services. “Whether you communicate with a business by phone, email, or WhatsApp, it can see what you’re saying and may use that information for its own marketing purposes, which may include advertising on Facebook.” The company says it will label those conversations that use Facebook’s hosting services. Also Read - Facebook testing label for posts in News Feed to fight fake news
-For businesses using the Shops feature, WhatsApp will display their products within the messenger app. Additionally, the company will share the shopping activity data with Facebook, which will later be used to show ads on Facebook and Instagram.
-Facebook will embed WhatsApp chat buttons for businesses on its platforms. Do note that Facebook will use this data to show ads on its platforms.
We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption. pic.twitter.com/6qDnzQ98MP
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 12, 2021
WhatsApp clarifies its privacy policies
In its recent post, WhatsApp clarifies some of the basic policies that had doubts around them going.
-WhatsApp says it cannot read private messages and listen to calls. Its parent firm Facebook doesn’t have any access to this data as well.
-WhatsApp does not keep a record of all calls and messages. The company says, “keeping these records for two billion users would be both a privacy and security risk and we don’t do it.”
-Neither Facebook, nor WhatsApp can see your location as it is protected by encryption.
-None of the contact data on your device is shared with Facebook.
-WhatsApp Groups will still remain private and it cannot show ads in them. Users can still use the disappearing messages feature without issues.