WhatsApp's initial attempt to explain changes didn't have intended effect
WhatsApp's previous attempt at explaining the changes to users went awry because the widespread interpretation was that WhatsApp will share user data with Facebook if one accepts the updated terms. Following this fiasco, WhatsApp made desperate attempts to retain users who flocked to rival platforms such as Signal and Telegram. However, it maintained that the new policy will come into effect on May 15.
Prompt stresses that only conversations with businesses would be affected
Facebook uses shared business chats to deliver better-targeted cross-platform ads
Business accounts will have access to cloud providers (including Facebook) so they can manage and store WhatsApp conversations. In turn, Facebook would reportedly use data from the shared chats to improve the accuracy of targeted advertisements it delivers on platforms besides WhatsApp. An alert (pictured) will be displayed whenever you begin a chat with a business account that uses Facebook's cloud services, WABetaInfo claimed.
You must accept revised terms to continue using WhatsApp
In a nutshell, you must accept the updated terms in order to continue using WhatsApp messenger, but on the bright side, you aren't yet being forced to interact with business accounts that share your chats with Facebook. However, WhatsApp and its parent haven't provided convincing answers about its data handling practices to authorities including the Indian government's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Indian Supreme Court, MeitY remain unconvinced by WhatsApp's boilerplate answers
MeitY asked the messaging service to reconsider its approach to information privacy, freedom to choose, and data security. WhatsApp's response to MeitY merely parroted its policy clarifications circulating on Twitter at the time. MeitY also questioned why the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandated a policy different from India's. Presently, several petitions are pending before the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.
Recent Facebook breaches, WhatsApp loopholes could further worsen public opinion
Since the policy change was announced, WhatsApp's parent Facebook suffered two colossal breaches of confidential user data. Separately, a glaring loophole was discovered in WhatsApp's security system that allows anyone to permanently disable WhatsApp accounts. Despite the decision to defer the policy implementation, we believe these recent developments could be detrimental to people's opinion of the WhatsApp brand and its data handling practices.