A lot is happening in and around WhatsApp in the country these days. The messaging platform recently updated its privacy policy and terms and services which users earlier had to accept by February 8, 2021. The deadline has now been extended to May 15, 2021 after hundreds and thousands of users questioned the privacy policy as it revealed details of user data WhatsApp shares with Facebook.

After numerous complaints and petitions filed by users on the latest privacy policy the Indian government issued an official letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart stating that the new privacy policy “raise grave concerns regarding the implications for the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens.” The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) also asked WhatsApp to withdraw the changes and “reconsider its approach to information privacy, freedom of choice and data security.”

Responding to the government of India the messaging platform stated, “We wish to reinforce that this update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook. Our aim is to provide transparency and new options available to engage with businesses so they can serve their customers and grow.”

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“WhatsApp will always protect personal messages with end-to-end encryption so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see them. We are working to address misinformation and remain available to answer any questions,” the spokesperson further added.

The question here is – is WhatsApp safe for you to use or should you look out for other alternative options like Signal or Telegram or others? We explain all of it here.

Is WhatsApp safe to use?

WhatsApp is currently used by millions of users in the country. As per the messaging platform, all chats exchanged between users on individual or group chats are “end-to-end encrypted”, which means nor WhatsApp or Facebook can read them. The messaging platform recently clarified that there’s a difference between “messages with friends or family” and “messages with a business”. It further said that the new privacy policy is mainly for business accounts while the policy for personal chats remains unchanged.

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What the new privacy policy means for you?

Nothing has really changed for you in terms of individual and group chats. Time and again WhatsApp has clarified that all chats happening on the platform are end-to-end encrypted. In other words, neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see “your private messages or hear your calls”. WhatsApp has also revealed that it can’t see who users are messaging or calling and nor can it see a location users have shared with a friend. The platform also said that it doesn’t share user’s contacts with Facebook or any other application. Furthermore, no data from groups will be shared with parent company Facebook for ad purposes.

Should the new privacy policy worry you?

Going by the latest privacy policy, WhatsApp continues to be a secure messaging platform for conversations happening between individuals and groups. All chats are end-to-end encrypted as claimed by the platform itself. However, you should be careful in conversing with business accounts.

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