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WhatsApp users confused over mixed messagesINTL

WhatsApp users confused over mixed messages

WhatsApp is adding to the confusion and frustration among its users about its new data-sharing policy. The instant messaging platform has been facing international criticism over allegations of sharing user data with its parent company Facebook (FB).

In an in-app notification made last week, WhatsApp informed users they had to agree to its new privacy policy in order to continue using the platform. The notification immediately led to user backlash and accusatory memes, citing antitrust concerns.

Since its acquisition, WhatsApp has maintained its independence from Facebook, stating that messages on the platform are end-to-end encrypted and are not shared with Facebook nor WhatsApp itself. The platform has also made clear that it doesn’t keep records of who users are calling or messaging, it can’t see users’ shared locations, and that it doesn’t share user contacts with Facebook.

Most of the anger and criticism towards WhatsApp has come from India – with 400 million users, making it WhatsApp’s largest market. The Indian government has said it will be reviewing the privacy policy update.

why it matters
WhatsApp's relationship with Facebook has come under extra scrutiny as of late after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Facebook with the intent of forcing it to sell WhatsApp. With privacy concerns now coming from both directions, WhatsApp and Facebook have little margin for error among users, regulators, and world governments.