WhatsApp delays Facebook data sharing policy, but the damage is already done

by Joseph K. Clark

WhatsApp updated its privacy policy last week, with the platform noting that it would mandate sharing user data with Facebook. The move led to a mass exodus, with users flocking to Signal and Telegram.

The Signal is down right now because of the influx of users switching from WhatsApp, and Telegram revealed that it picked up 25 million new users in the last week.

To further limit the damage, WhatsApp is now delaying the enforcement of the new privacy policy. The policy was meant to go into effect on February 8, and WhatsApp has now stated that the date has been pushed back to May 15.Atn that time, WhatsAppsaids itwouldl “clear up the misinformation” around how privacy and security work on its platform so that users have a better understanding of the data that will be shared with Facebook:


We’re now moving back the date people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We will also do much more to clarify the misinformation about how privacy and security work on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.

A lot of the issues that WhatsApp faced were of its own making. The platform offered little clarification about the Facebook data-sharing policy, and it was only until there was a full-blown user backlash that WhatsApp responded and revealed what information would be shared. WhatsApp says it will not share your contacts with Facebook, nor can it access your location details.


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Many users learned about WhatsApp’s association with Facebook for the first time because of the policy change. I’ve received dozens of messages from friends and family asking for alternatives to the platform, and many of my contacts shifted en masse to Signal. You can quickly move group chats to Signal, making things easier.

So even if WhatsApp isn’t going to share user data with Facebook, it will make many users question their trust in the platform, and it will be a long road ahead to regain that trust. In a time when Facebook is trying to monetize WhatsApp by introducing business-focused features — which the new policy was all about — it may have prompted a mass exit instead.<img src=”https://www.androidcentral.com/sites/androidcentral.com/files/styles/w200h150crop/public/article_images/2021/01/samsung-galaxy-buds-pro-review-10.jpg” alt=” Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review: The new best” srcset=”https://www.androidcentral.com/sites/androidcentral.com/files/styles/larger/public/article_images/2021/01/samsung-galaxy-buds-pro-review-10.jpg 1200w,&#10;https://www.androidcentral.com/sites/androidcentral.com/files/styles/w830/public/article_images/2021/01/samsung-galaxy-buds-pro-review-10.jpg 830w,&#10;https://www.androidcentral.com/sites/androidcentral.com/files/styles/mediumplus/public/article_images/2021/01/samsung-galaxy-buds-pro-review-10.jpg 600w,&#10;https://www.androidcentral.com/sites/androidcentral.com/files/styles/medium/public/article_images/2021/01/samsung-galaxy-buds-pro-review-10.jpg 400w” data-size=” large” sizes=”(min-width: 1300px) 830px, (min-width: 1180px) 728px, (min-width: 780px) calc(91.58vw – 334px), 100vw”/>

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