WhatsApp resumes new privacy policy rollout following backlash

(Image credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

WhatsApp would really like users to get on board with the upcoming changes to its privacy policy. It’s now got to the point where the app is rolling out a new in-app banner to help people understand what’s going on.

That has been quite a challenge, and the idea of WhatsApp sharing new data with parent company Facebook has not been very popular. It doesn’t matter how minor the data in question might be.

WhatsApp came under fire for the new privacy policy, particularly with the prospect that it would be sharing more user data with parent company Facebook. That led to a lot of rumors and misinformation spreading online, about how both companies will be able to access the contents of private conversations and other personal information.

WhatsApp has been adamant that this is not the case, particularly since messages are end-to-end encrypted and can’t be accessed by anyone. The company explained that nothing was really changing, just that the privacy policy is more transparent about what data is shared between WhatsApp and Facebook. The only new data involved will come from any interactions you do with businesses via WhatsApp.

Now WhatsApp is taking that message directly to its users. WhatsApp has already attempted that once through it’s Status feature, but now it seems a more proactive approach is being taken. Hence why WhatsApp users are going to start seeing a banner explaining what the upcoming privacy policy changes mean.

whatsapp privacy policy banner

(Image credit: WhatsApp)

While it’s been a bit of a mess in getting here, this isn’t a bad idea. Privacy policies and service terms and conditions are notorious for being hard to read, so people just click accept without actually understanding what they’re agreeing to. More companies should take this approach, and break everything down in a way people without law degrees can understand.

There has reportedly been a mass exodus of users to rival services like Signal and Telegram thanks to user perception of WhatsApp’s privacy policy. It’s still unclear whether this new banner will help people to better understand what’s going on and stick around, but bringing the message directly to the users is the best way to manage that.

As it stands, the policy is still due to come into full force by May 15. You have until then to decide to accept the new terms, or to jump ship and sign up for one of the best WhatsApp alternatives.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.