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WhatsApp has about 2 billion users globally.
WhatsApp has about 2 billion users globally.

WhatsApp to offer more information on privacy policy update via banner

In a blog post, WhatsApp said it will display a banner in the app in the coming weeks 'providing more information that people can read at their own pace'

New Delhi: WhatsApp will display a banner on the app providing users with more information on privacy policy and terms of use update that has drawn massive criticism over concerns on data sharing.

In a blog post, WhatsApp said it will display a banner in the app in the coming weeks "providing more information that people can read at their own pace". 

"We've also included more information to try and address concerns we're hearing. Eventually, we'll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp," the Facebook-owned company said.

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A raging debate erupted last month after WhatsApp said it will update its terms of service and privacy policy around how it processes user data and partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the social media giant's products.

After the public outcry, WhatsApp had decided to delay the rollout of its new policy update to May 15.

"After May 15, people who haven't accepted the privacy policy can still receive calls and get notifications, but they'll need to agree to the update to send messages," WhatsApp said.

It added that in accordance with its policies, user accounts will remain active to allow them to accept the new terms of service and updates.

The government has confronted these companies on multiple occasions and asserted that they need to comply with the rules of the land and crackdown on misuse of their platforms.

In its blog post, WhatsApp said it had previously encountered a great deal of "misinformation" about its policy update and that it continues to work on clearing up the confusion. 

"We'll be doing much more to make our voice clear going forward," it said, adding that it had used the 'Status' feature to share information around the update. 

"As a reminder, we're building new ways to chat or shop with a business on WhatsApp that are entirely optional. Personal messages will always be end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can't read or listen to them," it noted.

WhatsApp also highlighted that services to users on the platform remain free and it charges businesses to provide customer service on its platform. 

"During this time, we understand some people may check out other apps to see what they have to offer. We've seen some of our competitors try to get away with claiming they can't see people's messages - if an app doesn't offer end-to-end encryption by default that means they can read your messages," it said.

Without naming any rival, WhatsApp said "people are looking for apps to be both reliable and safe, even if that requires WhatsApp having some limited data". 

"We strive to be thoughtful on the decisions we make and we'll continue to develop new ways of meeting these responsibilities with less information, not more," it added.

WhatsApp has about 2 billion users globally, with India -- its largest market -- having over 400 million users.

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