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WhatsApp to go ahead with privacy update on May 15, despite backlash

To launch an all-new campaign to inform people about the privacy policy

WHATSAPP-INDIA/FAKENEWS WhatsApp has no plans to back off from its recently announced privacy policy | Reuters

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has no plans to back off from its recently announced privacy policy. According to its latest statement, WhatsApp will go ahead with its controversial privacy policy update, including in India, but will allow users to read it at “their own pace” and will also display a banner providing additional information.

The messenger will launch an all-new campaign. Users must accept the new privacy policy by May 15. This means that the new WhatsApp terms and Privacy Policy go into effect on May 15, 2021, and people who do not accept these updates will not be able to continue using WhatsApp after this date.

There isn't much on offer for those users who do not like WhatsApp's new privacy policy, and the May deadline seems the final one this time around.

In a new blog post on Thursday, WhatsApp said that in the coming weeks, it will display a banner in its main platform 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 company said.

WhatsApp’s announcement comes as parent Facebook moved to block all news content in Australia on Thursday, facing backlash from publishers and politicians, prompting a senior British lawmaker to label the move as an attempt to bully a democracy.

WhatsApp's announcement of the new privacy policy to be implemented by February 8 had kicked off a row which forced the company to delay the new policy launch to May and to clarify the update was focused on allowing users to message with businesses and would not affect personal conversations.

It sparked a global outcry, including from the likes of Elon Musk, and sent users to rival apps Telegram and Signal. 

Last week, the Supreme Court of India said that people have grave apprehensions on loss of privacy, making it clear that it is the court's duty to protect this right as it heard a plea against WhatsApp's new privacy policy which has now been deferred till May 15. The top court issued notice to WhatsApp and Facebook on this plea against its new privacy policy.


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