WhatsApp extends privacy policy deadline as users flock to rival messaging apps

WhatsApp

To say that WhatsApp’s recent revision of its privacy policy is unpopular would be something of an understatement as rival messaging apps such as Telegram and Signal experience unprecedented rates of growth. WhatsApp’s proposed new privacy policy raised the ire of its users who don’t want their data shared with Facebook’s umbrella of companies. After numerous denials and explanations, WhatsApp has now stated that it will extend the time that users have to review the policy until May 15th, as well as emphasizing that it won’t be terminating user’s ability to access their accounts on February 8th.

What data is WhatsApp sharing with Facebook?

Most of the so-called free apps and online services that we use share data with other companies so that ads can be tailored to our preferences. Anyone with a Gmail account will know the feeling of Googling for a new phone and seeing every advert on every page afterward show the exact phone you were looking at. But having WhatsApp share the information listed below with Facebook would appear to be a step too far for many, especially as the data gets shared with the other 80+ companies owned by the social media company.

  • Profile name
  • Profile picture
  • IP address
  • Status messages
  • Phone number
  • Contacts list
  • App logs

Facebook finally reveals the price for letting you use WhatsApp – your data

After WhatsApp’s take-it-or-leave-it attitude with the new privacy policy backfired, it has announced that users now have until May 15th to accept it, backtracking on its previous message and denying that the privacy policy means sharing the above data with Facebook and co. The company goes on to say on its blog that the “update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook”.

WhatsApp is apparently planning on announcing new business options on May 15th as it hopes its damage control efforts will stymie the stream of users signing up to Telegram and Signal, which is ironically backed by one of WhatsApp’s original founders. With a number of countries announcing investigations into WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, the messaging app (and Facebook) face increased scrutiny, and perhaps more calls to break up the social media group.


He’s been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries an OPPO Find X2 Pro in his pockets, a Galaxy Tab S5e in his backpack, and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around the world. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he’s an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).