“No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in an emailed response to a query on Friday, reported PTI.
The spokesperson added that while a “majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them”, some people have not had the chance to do so yet. However, the company did not clarify the reason behind the decision and did not divulge the number of users who have accepted the terms so far.
WhatsApp made it clear that it was not making any changes to its end-to-end encryption, which is present on all private chats. Nor did it plan to share any metadata or call logs or user messages with Facebook, but there was a lot of confusion around the policy. A lot of misinformation was also spread about WhatsApp, ironically a lot of this was shared on the platform itself.
WhatsApp was forced to issue a detailed FAQ clarifying that user privacy was not impacted in anyway. However, it had explained that when users interact with businesses on the platform, that information could be used for marketing purposes, including possible “advertising on Facebook.”
The relevant portion of the policy read as, “Businesses you interact with using our Services may provide us with information about their interactions with you. We require each of these businesses to act in accordance with applicable law when providing any information to us.”
It also noted, “In addition, some businesses might be working with third-party service providers (which may include Facebook) to help manage their communications with their customers.”
Now, it looks like WhatsApp has abandoned all plans of implementing this policy altogether. Given the backlash it has faced over the update, this looks like a wise move.
With inputs from PTI