WhatsApp is committed to making it easy to decline app updates

WhatsApp is committed to making it easy to decline app updates

More than two years after introducing a controversial privacy policy change, WhatsApp has agreed to make it easier for users to opt out of updates to its terms of service.

As part of the agreement with the European Union(Opens in a new window)the Meta-owned platform has promised to make it easy to decline updates and “clearly explain” when that decline might limit an app’s functionality.

WhatsApp also confirmed that personal information is not shared with third parties or other Meta companies (including Facebook) for advertising purposes.

“I welcome WhatsApp’s commitment to change its practices to comply with EU rules, to actively inform users of changes to their contracts and to respect their choices instead of asking them every time they open the app,” said Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner for Justice. in a statement. “Consumers have the right to understand what they are agreeing to and what that choice means specifically, so they can decide whether they want to continue using the platform.”

WhatsApp sent the internet into a frenzy in early 2021 when it published a new privacy policy that suggested people had no choice but to share their personal data with Facebook if they wanted to continue using the messaging service. Poor communication and general mistrust of social networks has caused backlash and user migration; WhatsApp later clarified that it will not delete accounts that do not accept the new policy, but will limit their functionality.

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The European Commission got involved last January(Opens in a new window), responding to allegations of unfair practices and asking WhatsApp to clarify changes to its privacy policy. It followed in June(Opens in a new window) with a letter asking consumers to be “clearly informed about WhatsApp’s business model” and whether the company profits from personal data.

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Going forward, the EU’s Consumer Protection Cooperation Network (CPC) will monitor future updates to WhatsApp’s policies and enforce compliance where necessary – including imposing fines.

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