WhatsApp has announced that it will delay enforcing its new privacy terms from February 8 to May 15.
After some online consternation about what Facebook could access, WhatsApp clarified last week that its changes were focused on how businesses used the app.
“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way,” the company said. “Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.”
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By the end of the week though, the company decided to delay the changes until May, saying there was a “lot of misinformation” flying around.
“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8,” it said.
“We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.”
One of the benefactors of WhatsApp’s changes has been Signal, which has seen so many users sign up to its service that its infrastructure fell over at the weekend.
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“We have been adding new servers and extra capacity at a record pace every single day this week nonstop, but today exceeded even our most optimistic projections,” the company tweeted. “Millions upon millions of new users are sending a message that privacy matters.”
Over a day later, the company said the service had resumed, however, some users have been seeing a “bad encrypted message” warning that requires users to reset the session. Signal said its next update will automatically fix this issue.