Facebook can’t access encrypted private chats: WhatsApp head on new privacy policy

Popular messaging platform WhatsApp has been facing a lot of flak for its revised privacy policy under which Facebook and its partner companies will get access to selected user data. Since then there has been a surge in the downloads of alternative messaging apps including Signal. In reply to the widespread criticism, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart tried to explain how the new policy will not affect users and will continue to keep their conversations private.

Cathcart tried to clear the air with a Twitter thread saying, “With end-to-end encryption, we cannot see your private chats or calls and neither can Facebook. We’re committed to this technology and committed to defending it globally,”. He also added a link to WhatsApp security to explain in detail.

WhatsApp has given users time till February 8 to accept the new terms and conditions. Cathcart kept emphasising the privacy aspect of the Facebook-owned platform. “We’ve updated our policy to be transparent and to better describe optional people-to-business features. We wrote about it in October — this includes commerce on WhatsApp and the ability for people to message a business,” he wrote.

The 37-year-old also shared a statistic and explained how this will make it easier for businesses on WhatsApp to respond to users. “Not everyone may realize how common it is to WhatsApp message businesses in many countries. In fact, about 175 million people message a business account each day on WhatsApp, and more want to do so. Also, businesses want tools to quickly and effectively respond to those messages. It’s too hard today and features like Shops and Pay can help people buy things they want from businesses on WhatsApp,” he further added.

Earlier, founder and CEO of Telegram, Pavel Durov took a dig at WhatsApp for their latest move. “I hear Facebook has an entire department devoted to figuring out why Telegram is so popular. Imagine dozens of employees working on just that full-time. I am happy to save Facebook tens of millions of dollars and give away our secret for free: respect your users,” Durov wrote in his blog post.

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