After inviting users to accept its new data sharing policy with Facebook, many people turned their back on the popular messaging platform and looked for alternatives. As a result, Signal made it to the top charts on the Play Store, promising to respect its users' privacy. Even though WhatsApp tried to reassure the crowds claiming chats and calls would remain encrypted, it's decided to give more time to people before forcing them to accept its new terms.
In a new blog post, WhatsApp is acknowledging it created a mess with its new policy and is trying to reinforce the fact that conversations would remain encrypted and that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook would be able to access messages, call logs, shared locations, and contacts.
However, since the damage is already done, it wants to give users more time to understand its new policy, which only applies to chats with businesses. Indeed, the update allows them to integrate their WhatsApp experience with Facebook, which would mean some data would be shared with the social platform if the business you're chatting with uses Facebook's hosting service or if you decide to make payments through WhatsApp. Similarly, the new policy allows a business to put a WhatsApp button on their Facebook page, allowing you to quickly message them using WhatsApp.
Given how hard it will be for WhatsApp to regain people's trust, the company has decided to give users more time to "understand" its new terms. It's therefore extended the deadline beyond February 8, allowing the company to further communicate on its new policy and clarify its terms. With this in mind, the ultimatum has been pushed back to May 15, which Facebook hopes will be enough time for it to ensure people are comfortable with the fact that their WhatsApp data will remain encrypted and won't be shared with Facebook, at least in most cases.