WhatsApp says commited to protect privacy

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Hours after announcing the decision to go ahead with its controversial privacy policy update, WhatsApp on Friday said it has conveyed to the Indian government that it remains committed to protection of privacy of personal conversations across the country.

Last month, the messaging app had faced a volley of questions from the Indian government after it informed users that it was updating its privacy policy under which it could share limited user data with Facebook and its group firms.

The backlash and users opting for rival apps Telegram and Signal, prompted WhatsApp to delay the rollout to May but on Friday, the company said the policy will be rolled out but the platform will allow users to read it at “their own pace”.

Whatsapp will also provide a banner offering additional information on the update. “Due to misinformation and based on feedback from our users, we have pushed back the timeline of acceptance of WhatsApp’s terms of service and privacy policy to the 15th of May. In the meantime, we continue to engage with the government and are grateful for the opportunity to answer questions that we received from them,” WhatsApp said in an e-mailed statement to PTI.