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WhatsApp clarifies it’s not giving all your data to Facebook after surge in Signal and Telegram users

WhatsApp is attempting to clarify changes to its privacy policy after immense backlash. The Facebook-owned messaging service has published a new FAQ page to its website, saying that the changes going into effect on February 8 only affect businesses who use WhatsApp, not individual users.

Last week, a report suggested that WhatsApp would share user data with Facebook, without giving users a choice. In 2016, WhatsApp began sharing data with Facebook by default, but users still had the ability to opt out. The reports were based on changes WhatsApp had made to its privacy policy.

According to WhatsApp, this change actually doesn’t affect user messaging. Instead, it includes changes related to when you message a business using WhatsApp — something the company points out is completely optional.

Ultimately, this means that communication on WhatsApp between friends and family should be unaffected by the privacy changes going into effect on February 8. For WhatsApp, however, some damage might already be done in terms of the competition.

Since the WhatsApp privacy policy changes were reported last week, Signal has seen an immense amount of growth. New data from Appfigures indicates that between Thursday and Sunday, Signal added a whopping 4.6 million new users.

The Verge

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