The Justice and Constitutional Development, through its Information Regulator said it was assessing and reviewing the compliance of the revised Whatsapp Privacy Policy. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)
The Justice and Constitutional Development, through its Information Regulator said it was assessing and reviewing the compliance of the revised Whatsapp Privacy Policy. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

Information Regulator meets with Facebook SA over WhatsApp privacy concerns

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jan 14, 2021

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Cape Town - The Justice and Constitutional Development, through its Information Regulator, said it was assessing and reviewing the compliance of the revised WhatsApp Privacy Policy.

This after WhatsApp has recently announced a new privacy policy that will see a change in how its parent company, Facebook, collects data from its 2 billion user accounts.

Due to privacy concerns, this has resulted in a surge of downloads of alternative communication apps such as Telegram and Signal.

In a statement, the regulator said it had met to discuss the matter pertaining to the revised policy which has consumed many social media users of the popular chat platforms WhatsApp and subsequently Facebook.

The regulator said it has made contact with Facebook South Africa which has provided it with the WhatsApp privacy policy, which was revised on January 4.

"The engagements with Facebook SA are ongoing. However, in terms of the revised policy, it appears that there are different terms of service and privacy policies for users in the European countries and in non-European Countries.

"The regulator will be analysing whether the terms of service and the privacy policies indeed differ and whether the privacy policy applicable to users outside Europe, which include the South African users, are in compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act."

WhatsApp on Tuesday reassured users about privacy at the Facebook-owned messaging service, as people flocked to rivals Telegram and Signal following a tweak to its terms.

There was "a lot of misinformation" about an update to terms of service regarding an option to use WhatsApp to message businesses, Facebook executive Adam Mosseri, who heads Instagram, said in a tweet.

"We can't see your private messages or hear your calls, and neither can Facebook," WhatsApp said in a blog post.

"We don't keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling. We can't see your shared location and neither can Facebook."

* Additional reporting by AFP.

Cape Argus

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