WhatsApp has confirmed that unless users agree to its rules for sharing personal data with Facebook, users will not be able to read or send messages. The new terms and conditions sparked strong opposition and led to a surge in the popularity of competitor apps.
On Sunday, the company shared details of how the new terms of service will affect its users through the technology news site TechCrunch. Previously, the outlet cited an email sent by WhatsApp to one of its merchant partners.
Last month, WhatsApp asked users to agree to an update that will allow Messenger to share personal data, such as phone number and location, with Facebook, which owns the application.
WhatsApp will start “Slowly ask”
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The Delhi court in India, WhatsApp’s largest market, has filed a lawsuit against the petition, accusing the messenger’s new terms of service of infringing privacy rights and threatening national security. Earlier this month, the court asked the company to respond to these claims.
The controversy prompted some to turn to WhatsApp rivals Telegram and Signal, the latter being promoted by Elon Musk. Both services have seen a surge in downloads in recent weeks.
WhatsApp wrote on its company blog on Thursday that users’ private messages will remain safe. “We will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages,” The company said.
It added that this update will allow users to chat with businesses or shop online, and this feature will “Completely optional.”
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