“We will postpone the deadline for users to read and agree to the terms,” the company said in a blog article. And the date for the entry into force of the new rules of use is on May 15 instead of February 8. Critics of the platform saw in this decision an attempt by WhatsApp to share more data with the parent network Facebook that bought it in 2014.
Update for ads
On Friday, WhatsApp was keen to reassure its users that the update “will not enhance our ability to share data with Facebook,” but it aims above all to help companies improve communication with customers through the platform.
It seeks in particular to allow advertisers to sell their products directly through the application, as is currently happening in India, the largest market for the platform with about 400 million users.
“We realize that this update has caused confusion and was a subject of misleading, and we want to help everyone understand our values and the facts,” the platform said.
She emphasized that all conversations on its platform will remain protected by the encryption technology between the two parties to the conversation, and therefore neither the platform nor its parent company Facebook will be able to see its content.
Users outraged about privacy
The WhatsApp announcement of these new changes in the rules of use caused a state of anxiety and anger among many users who saw it as a abandonment of the values on which WhatsApp was founded. The app has specifically built its reputation on protecting data privacy.
The platform tried to contain the great controversy in this regard through successive advertisements for reassurance and advertising campaigns. However, competing services between them, especially Signal and Telegram, have benefited from this confusion about WhatsApp and recorded a significant increase in downloads for its service. Even Tesla boss Elon Musk called on his Twitter followers to download Signal, which is rated one of the safest applications in the world.
Signal admitted Friday via Twitter that it was facing “technical problems” in light of the large influx of new users, for the second time in a week. She added, “We have added new servers and doubled our capabilities unceasingly throughout this week, but what happened today exceeds our most optimistic expectations.”
Generally speaking, tech majors frequently face accusations of seeking to exploit more personal data to increase their advertising revenue.