Furthermore, the Meta-owned brand will “clearly explain” when refusing these terms will limit access to its services. Users may also disregard notifications regarding these updates and postpone reviewing them.
In addition, the firm confirmed that it does not share personal data with other Meta brands, such as Facebook, for advertising purposes. The Commission further noted that the company does not disclose such information to third-party entities.
While there were no significant changes for users, some interpreted this as an indication that WhatsApp was sharing their messages and calls with Facebook.
As a result, many users migrated to secure messaging alternatives such as Signal and Telegram. WhatsApp attempted to reassure users that it was unable to access the end-to-end encrypted conversations. However, the uproar caused the company to halt the policy’s rollout.
When the new terms were eventually reintroduced, it included clarifications but also warned that the service would gradually become unavailable unless users agreed to the terms.
In January last year, the European Commission intervened in response to allegations of unfair practices by requesting that WhatsApp provide clearer explanations regarding how it uses people’s data. Last June, the Commission requested that WhatsApp offer a more transparent explanation of its business model, including whether it profits from personal data.
The Consumer Protection Cooperation Network of the Commission intends to “actively monitor” WhatsApp’s implementation of these commitments during future policy updates. Any violations may result in fines and other sanctions.