WhatsApp said it couldn’t read your messages or hear calls
It also emphasised that Facebook could also not see user communication
WhatsApp mentioned the changes meant for business messages
WhatsApp also stated that it didn't keep logs of user communications. “While traditionally mobile carriers and operators store this information, we believe that keeping these records for two billion users would be both a privacy and security risk and we don't do it,” it noted.
On the location sharing part, WhatsApp pointed out in its newly created FAQ page that it couldn't see the shared location of users and neither could Facebook. The platform underlined that when someone shares location on its app, it's end-to-end encrypted — meaning it couldn't be seen by anyone except the people with whom it is shared with.
The FAQ page also noted that WhatsApp didn't share contacts with Facebook. “When you give us permission, we access only the phone numbers from your address book to make messaging fast and reliable, and we don't share your contacts lists with the other apps Facebook offers,” it said.
Similarly, WhatsApp said that group chats on the platform remained private and end-to-end encrypted. “We use group membership to deliver messages and to protect our service from spam and abuse. We don't share this data with Facebook for ads purposes,” the FAQ page noted.
In terms of data sharing that has brought the privacy controversy, the Facebook-owned platform said the update included changes related to messaging businesses on WhatsApp.
“Some large businesses need to use hosting services to manage their communication. Which is why we're giving businesses the option to use secure hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions, and send helpful information like purchase receipts,” the platform said.
It also mentioned the arrival of new commerce features, which could allow businesses to sell their goods and services from WhatsApp, that could require personalisation. For that, shopping activities of users could be used to personalise the experience. WhatsApp, however, stated that such features were optional.
Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a principal correspondent for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send in your leads and tips.