Last week an announcement by WhatsApp caused an outcry among people. Whatsapp had announced that it would be updating its policies from February 8th and people would have no choice but to accept it, else relinquish their right to use the instant messaging service.
Several tech moguls, including Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey and Chairman of Mahindra group Anand Mahindra had come out asking people to get onto the new messaging platform “Signal”. Signal is believe to be a much more secure alternative to Facebook owned WhatsApp.
Seeing the uproar, WhatsApp has delayed the launch of the new policy by three months from February 8th to May 15th. Whatsapp has clarified that the data is encrypted and is completely secure and cannot be seen or accessed by anyone, including WhatsApp and Facebook.
WhatsApp also states the following:
- Calls made via the instant messaging app are not tracked or logged anywhere.
- Calls made via the call are not listened upon by unauthorized parties
- The location shared to others can also not be viewed by either WhatsApp or Facebook.
- All WhatsApp groups remain private
- Contacts are not shared by WhatsApp to Facebook
- Messages can be set to disappear
- Your data can be downloaded
WhatsApp has also clarified how business messaging works and its link with Facebook. Since several business use WhatsApp to communicate with their customers, WhatsApp has made it easier by giving business the option to use secure hosting services provided from Facebook.
This would enable businesses to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions and also send purchase receipts and other important information.
WhatsApp will also help in the discovery of a business, whereby a person would see an ad on Facebook with a button to message the business using WhatsApp. Facebook may use the way you interact with these ads to customize and personalize the ads viewed by a user on Facebook.
Will this clarity provided by WhatsApp help to regain the users lost to other apps such as Signal and Telegram? Only time will tell.