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Following backlash, WhatsApp to show in-app banner explaining privacy policy

WhatsApp, Threema

WhatsApp is making another attempt to curb the backlash it faced over changes to its privacy policy and terms of service: over the coming weeks, it will display a banner in WhatsApp with information about the changes, the company announced in a blog post. The company had earlier deferred the implementation of its policy by three months—to May 15—in a bid to buy more time from the fallout, which saw two legal challenges, and the company being reprimanded by India’s IT Ministry. WhatsApp announced changes to its privacy policy in January that led to widespread debate, as the changes amount to a deeper integration between the messaging app and Facebook’s other verticals. The policy—which is mandatory for users to accept—said that the service will use a device’s IP address, and other information like phone number area codes to estimate their general location, even if a user doesn’t use the its location-related features. Businesses that users interact with on the platform may share information about their interactions with users, with Facebook. One important thing to note here is that WhatsApp has made no commitment towards reviewing the changes to its policy. So far, it has only insisted that it will allow users more time so that they properly understand the policy. WhatsApp also said that enabling business on the platform was among the ways it could afford keeping the app free. “We charge businesses to provide customer service on WhatsApp - not people. Some shopping features involve Facebook so that businesses…

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