WhatsApp’s privacy policy update sparks global regulatory backlash amid user confusion

Introduction

Date: 22 January 2021. Duration: 18:10

Users of the popular messaging service WhatsApp may have noticed a recent privacy-policy update from the Facebook-owned company. But how many of those users would have read and understood the 4,000-word document in full? Not many — something that is concerning regulators around the globe. Even though the company argues that the updates themselves are not significant, the way in which the changes have been communicated to users has fed into residual animosity towards Facebook over its 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp and mistrust about its handling of personal data. Meanwhile, some WhatsApp users are voting with their virtual feet, dumping the service in favor of rivals Signal and Telegram. Facebook vowed to boost its transparency about the changes and delayed the deadline to accept the policy update to May 15.

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