WhatsApp announced on Friday that it would postpone changes to its terms of service for three months after the fears expressed by many users that the mobile messaging service would share confidential data with its parent company, Facebook.
“We are now delaying the date by which users will have to review and agree to the terms,” the company said in a blog post. The changes, which were supposed to come into effect on February 8, will not be effective until May 15.
WhatsApp assured that the update would not “strengthen our ability to share data with Facebook”, but was primarily intended to help businesses communicate better with their customers through the platform.
“We know there has been confusion and misinformation about this update, and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts,” the company said.
WhatsApp conversations will continue to be end-to-end encrypted and neither Facebook nor WhatsApp will be able to see these private messages, the company says.
The announcement of the update last week had caused panic and anger among many users, who were alarmed at the abandonment of WhatsApp’s founding values. The application has built its reputation in particular on data protection.
The platform had tried to calm the fire with reassuring announcements and advertising campaigns, but competing services, such as Signal and Telegram, were able to take advantage of the confusion and saw their downloads soar on the Apple Store and Google Play in several countries.
For its part, the Competition Authority in Turkey announced on Monday the opening of an investigation against WhatsApp and Facebook, demanding the suspension of the update.