WhatsApp says it can’t listen to your conversations, informs users in story form

WhatsApp is trying to clarify its privacy policies for users. — AFP

Reassuring its users has become an obsession for WhatsApp ever since the “bad buzz” started circulating about its new terms of use. The application has reinforced its communication in an attempt to appease those who would decamp to other messengers, using the “Status” function, the equivalent of Stories on Facebook.

“WhatsApp can’t read or listen to your personal conversations as they’re end-to-end encrypted.” The message is clear. To reassure its users, and convince them to stay, the messaging application simply went through its own platform using its “Status” function, the equivalent of the “story” function.

Through four publications, WhatsApp wanted to clarify its position regarding accusations made against it. No, the messaging application cannot read or listen to personal conversations that are encrypted. Yes, their “commitment to your privacy” is “one thing that isn’t new”. These messages let the user see the link to Whatsapp.com/privacy, which is intended to explain the privacy settings of the application.

“There's been a lot of misinformation and confusion around our recent update and we want to help everyone understand the facts behind how WhatsApp protects people's privacy and security,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told the website The Verge. “Going forward, we’re going to provide updates to people in the Status tab so people hear from WhatsApp directly. Our first update reaffirms that WhatsApp cannot see your personal messages, and neither can Facebook, because they are protected by end-to-end encryption.”

Since the announcement of the messaging service’s new terms of use, WhatsApp has met with a lot of criticism from users who have left the application to join less mainstream platforms such as Telegram or Signal. Since then, these messaging systems have posted record-breaking sign-ups and are now a must-have for many.

Due to the magnitude of the uproar, WhatsApp decided to postpone the implementation of these new conditions to May; they were originally scheduled to come into force in February. The messaging company owned by Mark Zuckerberg has suffered for its lack of communication and hopes in this way to re-establish direct contact with its users. With its clever choice for communication – by using its ‘Status’ tab – WhatsApp essentially forces users to stay on its application to get new information on such policies. “Stay tuned for more updates!” the last Status publication of WhatsApp says. – AFP Relaxnews

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