WhatsApp's decision of postponing the deadline of the update has come at a high time when it has been encountering that the Indian market is getting out of its hands after millions of its users are uninstalling the application by accusing it of compromising in the piracy and security standards and switching to its rivals like Signal and Telegram.
The policy change was originally scheduled to come into effect on February 8. In its statement, WhatsApp said, "We've heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update. There's been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts". In what has become a major decision, WhatsApp said that the implementation of the policy will be delayed till May 15.
It said that the update does not affect data sharing with Facebook with regard to personal conversations or other profile information and is only meant for business chats in the event a user converses with a company's customer service platform through WhatsApp. "WhatsApp was built on a simple idea, what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages. We also can't see your shared location and we don't share your contacts with Facebook", it added.
Reacting to the update, WhatsApp said, "The update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and its important people are aware of these services. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook".
The company said that it was deferring the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. The company claimed, "No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We are also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around 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".
According to reports, WhatsApp released a separate blog on Friday in its bid to clear the clouds of confusion. Facebook executives, including Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri and WhatsApp Head Will Cathcart took to Twitter to try and clean up the confusion. WhatsApp said that it will now use the three-month delay to better communicate both the changes in its new policy and its long-standing privacy practices around personal chats, location sharing, and other sensitive data.