The European Commission has announced that the instant messaging platform, WhatsApp, has agreed to improve how it communicates to users and will simplify the process of declining updates to its terms of service. In 2021, the European consumer protection association umbrella group, the BEUC, along with eight of its member organizations, lodged a complaint about WhatsApps’ confusing ToS and the bloc has given a month to the messaging platform to straighten out its activities.

WhatsApps’ Confusing ToS and the Huge Uproar

In 2021, WhatsApp rolled out a new privacy policy that apparently grants permission to WhatsApp to share user data with Facebook and if someone declines the policy then there is a high chance that the user would lose the functionality. WhatsApp later clarified that the policy would only apply to businesses on the app and not the users using the service to message friends and family members.

“We welcome WhatsApp’s commitments to change its practices to comply with EU rules, informing users better and respecting their choices on contract updates. EU consumers have a right to understand what they agree to and what that choice concretely entails,” said the European Commission in a tweet. An EU executive said; “Following a dialogue with EU consumer protection authorities and the European Commission (CPC network), WhatsApp committed to being more transparent on changes to its terms of service. Moreover, the company will make it easier for users to reject updates when they disagree with them, and will clearly explain when such rejection leads the user to no longer be able to use WhatsApp’s services.”

Commitments Made by WhatsApp

Here is a list of the commitments made by the messaging platform for any future policy updates, the platform will:

• Explain what changes it intends to make to the users’ contracts and how they could affect their rights;
• Include the possibility to reject updated terms of service as prominently as the possibility to accept them;
• Ensure that the notifications informing about the updates can be dismissed or the review of the updates can be delayed, as well as respect users’ choices and refrain from sending recurring notifications.

Also read: WhatsApp Fined €225M by European Union over Severe Privacy Breach


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