Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp at Facebook has stated that the data sharing practices at the messenger app will remain unchanged even with a new update that will see WhatsApp share users information with Facebook.
He emphasised that WhatsApp communications remain end-to-end encrypted. “With end-to-end encryption, we cannot see your private chats or calls and neither can Facebook. We’re committed to this technology…”
Cathcart stated this in a series of tweets on 9 January, after the concerns generated by a new WhatsApp policy which will be implemented on the 8th of February.
WhatsApp, a platform that pride itself on its commitment to security and privacy, with encrypted conversations and other important technologies integrated into the app.
The new rules announced by include a summary of how WhatsApp will share information with Facebook, and how any shared information might be used.
“We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings.”
It is that summary that has led to the concerns, and fears that people’s WhatsApp data might not be protected
I want to share how committed everyone @WhatsApp is to providing private communication for two billion people around the world. At our core, that’s the ability to message or call loved ones freely protected by end-to-end encryption and that’s not changing.
— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) January 8, 2021
With end-to-end encryption, we cannot see your private chats or calls and neither can Facebook. We’re committed to this technology and committed to defending it globally.
We’ve updated our policy to be transparent and to better describe optional people-to-business features. We wrote about it in October — this includes commerce on WhatsApp and the ability for people to message a business.
It’s important for us to be clear this update describes business communication and does not change WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook. It does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world.
Not everyone may realize how common it is to WhatsApp message businesses in many countries. In fact, about 175 million people message a business account each day on WhatsApp and more want to do so.
Also businesses want tools to quickly and effectively respond to those messages. It’s too hard today and features like Shops and Pay can help people buy things they want from businesses on WhatsApp.
We’re in a competition on privacy with others and that’s very good for the world. People should have choices in how they communicate and feel confident that no one else can see their chats. There are people who disagree with this, including some governments.
We’re proud of the service we offer, and we’ll continue to develop technology and practices to provide private, secure communications for as many people as we can.
That’s why we are so committed to end-to-end encryption, and why we keep improving the privacy of WhatsApp, such as with our launch of disappearing messages in November. Our innovation on privacy will continue.