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WhatsApp clarifies terms of service changes

WhatsApp’s new terms of service updates will not allow the company to read personal conversations.

The messaging app announced in January it would be making changes to its terms and privacy policy, leaving many users concerned the app – which is known for offering end-to-end encryption to keep conversations solely between those involved – would begin sharing data with its parent company, Facebook.

However, developers of the app have now insisted that isn’t the case, and instead the update will make it easier for people to contact businesses, which won’t have the same level of encryption as personal messages.

WhatsApp will begin displaying a banner alert within the app in the coming weeks which will explain the changes in full, with a message that reads: “We’re not changing the privacy of your personal conversations.”

The alert then goes on to say WhatsApp will be implementing “Facebook tools” to manage how businesses use their chats, which they say will be “optional and clearly labelled” within the app.

In a statement, the company said: “We want everyone to know our history of defending end-to-end encryption, and trust we’re committed to protecting people’s privacy and security."

WhatsApp insisted the data it shares with its parent company does not include messages, groups or call logs, but it does share information including your IP address and information about your phone, as well as purchases made via the platform.

However, this does not apply in Europe and the UK, where different privacy laws are in place.

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