PTA reviews the updated WhatsApp privacy policy

ISLAMAABD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued a press release regarding the updated WhatsApp privacy policy which has sparked a serious debate on social media in terms of private data being shared with the encrypted messaging service’s parent company Facebook.

PTA reviews the updated WhatsApp privacy policy.

Keeping in view the clarification provided by WhatsApp regarding its updated privacy policy, The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued a press release further explain the information provided by the messaging service.

According to the regulator, the information mentioned in the press release “is provided by WhatsApp and disseminated in good faith as a public service information without any liability on the Authority as a result of this information.”

In the press release, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has basically shared the same clarification provided by WhatsApp the previous day regarding its updated privacy policy.

Read more: WhatsApp offers clarification on updated privacy policy.

However, we will go through the explanation once more as provided by PTA in their press release issued keeping in view the concerns of the general public regarding privacy policy changes of the Facebook owned messaging application.

First of all, the new WhatsApp privacy policy goes into effect on 8th February 2021 and aims to “make it easier for people to both make a purchase and get help form a business directly on WhatsApp” and thus only applies to users communicating with businesses on the platform and “does not impact how people communicate privately with friends and family.”

“WhatsApp is still end-to-end encrypted.” but certain data is still shared with Facebook for purposes such as promoting safety and integrity, fighting spam, improving infrastructure and delivery systems and providing integrations which enable users to connect their WhatsApp experiences with other Facebook products, including ads and friend suggestions on the platform.

The data shared by WhatsApp with its parent company mainly includes the user’s “account registration information (e.g. phone number), how users interact with others (including businesses) and the user’s IP address.

However, it is mentioned that this “has been the case since 2016 and has not changed with this update” to the WhatsApp privacy policy.

For people contacting businesses using ‘WhatsApp for Business App’, the shopping data can be shared with merchants and Facebook to improve their services. However, it doesn’t mean that users will see ads on the messaging application.

There is certain data collected by WhatsApp but the company takes strict “measures to restrict access to that information.” and while the messaging application has access to user contacts, that data is not shared with any third party, including Facebook.

Furthermore, users are required to accept the new terms and conditions to continue using WhatsApp past February 8th, 2021 but failing to do so does not mean that the messaging application will delete user data or the account. It just means that the user “will need to agree to the updates in order to user their account.”

Further details for Pakistani users are provided by WhatsApp in Urdu on their official website.

It is pertinent to mention that the following information was issued in a press release by PTA “in good faith as a public service” based on the clarification provided by WhatsApp regarding its updated privacy policy and the regulator is not liable as a result of this information.

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