This caused massive panic among users, many chose to switch to Telegram and Signal. Much of this was due to misinformation, as WhatsApp notes, as few people actually read the new policy changes. WhatsApp is going to reassure users, clarify the situation; and the deadline for adopting the new rules has been postponed until May 15.
The new changes only affect those who interact with WhatsApp Business accounts. These business accounts can now use Facebook’s hosting services to manage their WhatsApp chats, use Facebook branded commercial features such as stores, and display Facebook ads. In each of these cases, Facebook will now collect information about you if you interact with that company and its ads, as if you were clicking on any other Facebook ad.
WhatsApp: The adoption of the new rules is postponed for 3 months
“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15”.
WhatsApp states that the new policy does not change anything regarding users’ messaging or calling other users or groups as these terms have not changed. Your messages and calls will still be encrypted, your messages will not be stored on Facebook’s servers. It’s not that WhatsApp doesn’t share any data with Facebook at all; just the amount of data transferred does not change with this update. In fact, if this was not a problem for you before, it should not be now.
Many people just don’t know that WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and that they are sharing data. So they got nervous when they found out they needed to start sharing data with Facebook or stop using the service. Some even suggested that their accounts would be deleted after February 8th.
The company emphasizes that the new changes are only relevant for those who interact with business accounts and do not affect other users. So now WhatsApp hopes that people with more peace of mind will click the Agree button.