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WhatsApp privacy policy update: European users are not affected, according to WhatsApp

WhatsApp claims European users are not affected by its latest update. Is that true?

Are European users affected by the WhatsApp update?

When reading WhatsApp’s updated terms of use and their privacy policy, the new commercial data-sharing measures with Facebook seem to apply to all users, regardless of their location. The conditions do not seem to exclude any part of the world in particular.

However, Niamh Sweeney, Director of Public Policy at WhatsApp for the EMEA (Europe Middle East Area) market reacted, after this publication, on her Twitter account by declaring that European users would not be affected by the change in terms of use.

Here is her statement, published in five standalone tweets:

Link tweet 4&5

WhatsApp update: questions still arise…

While our aim is not to discredit Niamh Sweeney’s words, questions still arise for European users. In the first place, it is surprising that European users have received a pop-up window updating the terms of use, which currently seems impossible to decline… In purely legal terms, the new conditions of use, at least in their wording, remain imprecise. It was the strong reaction of users on Twitter that prompted this “clarification” that was supposed to address this imprecision.

Note that WhatsApp, on its blog, still claims to make the business application a “real store counter” as announced in the first sentence of this post, published last November, and which has not been modified by the company since: “WhatsApp is fast becoming a store counter to discuss products and coordinate sales. Catalogs have allowed people to quickly see what’s available and helped businesses organize their chats around particular items. With more and more shopping happening through chats, we want to make buying and selling even easier.”

Statements like those of Niamh Sweeney could multiply in order to reassure European users. On a global scale, according to this post, published on January 12th by, “Signal saw approximately 7.5 million installs globally through the Apple App Store and Google Play store between Jan. 6 and Jan. 10, according to Sensor Tower. That is 43 times the number from the previous week. It is the highest week or even monthly install number for Signal in the app’s history.”

If you would like to know more about the consequences of the WhatsApp privacy policy update for your data, read more here.

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