Thursday, March 23, 2023

WhatsApp commits to being more transparent with its users in Europe

WhatsApp has taken an important step to make its operation transparent in the European Union. According to reported The European Commission, the messaging app has promised to be clearer when applying changes to its terms and conditions.

The determination was made after the controversy established by the modifications that were implemented in 2021, which users had to accept. Something that not only aroused complaints from the public, but also from regulators. To the point that the authorities of the European bloc issued an ultimatum in 2022 for WhatsApp to clarify its privacy policy to verify that it did not violate the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“The company will make it easier for users to reject updates when they do not agree with them, and will clearly explain when said rejection means that the user can no longer use WhatsApp services,” they said from the European Commission. In addition, from the messaging app they confirmed that the personal data of its users are not shared with third parties for advertising purposes. Not even with Meta, his parent company.

In this way, WhatsApp intends to close the controversy generated throughout 2021, which produced a significant negative reaction worldwide. In January of that year, the platform modified its privacy policy to basically integrate all its users’ data with Facebook. The scope was so wide that, with the exception of conversations, those in Menlo Park would gain access to all the ways a person interacted with the messaging app.

The change was so aggressive that if they did not accept the new conditions, users would lose access to their WhatsApp account. The outrage was immediate and forced Meta to backtrack and implement some exceptions. Nevertheless, could never shake off the bad publicity for the initial prank.

WhatsApp will be more transparent in Europe

WhatsApp |  European Comission
Photo by Mourizal Zativa on Unsplash

The commitment to greater transparency that WhatsApp has assumed before the European Commission will be reflected in three actions. First of all, you will have to explain, clearly and in simple language, what changes you intend to apply to your terms and conditionsand how they might affect users.

Besides, will include the option to decline your new policies. But not only that, since the “button” of rejection should be just as prominent and visible as the one of acceptance. And finally, it will allow dismiss notifications to report updates to their policies, and even delay reviewing them.

The European Commission has celebrated WhatsApp’s commitment to make its operation transparent to users. “Consumers have the right to know what they agree to and what that choice specifically entails, so they can decide if they want to continue using the platform,” he said. Didier ReyndersEuropean Commissioner for Justice.

Undoubtedly, WhatsApp’s commitment to respect European regulations and the privacy of users comes to iron out differences between the parties. Let’s not forget that, in November 2021, the messaging app was fined €225 million by Ireland for refusing to disclose what personal data it shared with Facebook, and how many users it affected.

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