The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Wednesday issued a statement regarding WhatsApp’s new terms of service following growing concern regarding the messaging service.
In a series of Tweets, the telecom regulator shared a clarification by Facebook and WhatsApp in view of the “concerns by general public”.
The authority assured the citizens that the new terms of service “do not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family. It added that WhatsApp remains end-to-end encrypted.
“WhatsApp shares certain categories of data – including account registration information (e.g. phone number), how users interact with others (including businesses), and the user’s IP address-with Facebook for purposes such as promoting safety and integrity, fighting spam improving infrastructure & delivery systems, & providing integrations which enable users to connect their WhatsApp experiences with other Facebook Company Products and personalizing content (including ads & friend suggestions) across the Facebook Company Products,” said the PTA quoting the company.
The regulator citing information from WhatsApp said that through the new terms of service WhatsApp is making it easier for people to both make a purchase and get help from a business by communicating directly on WhatsApp.
“Users will be notified within a chat with a business that has chosen to use Facebook or a third-party to manage their WhatsApp messages so they can choose whether to interact with this business,” said WhatsApp informed PTA.
The regulator, while further explaining the WhatsApp rules, said that if a user starts using WhatsApp to send messages to businesses via the WhatsApp for Business App then the “shopping data can be shared with merchants and Facebook to improve their services”.
The PTA stated that this will have “zero impact on private messages and calls with your friends and family”.
“For the limited categories of data WhatsApp does collect, it takes measures to restrict access to that information. While you may grant WhatsApp access to your contacts to help deliver the messages you send, WhatsApp does not share contact lists with anyone, including Facebook,” added the PTA statement.
The PTA said that those users who are not accepting the new terms of service will not lose their accounts but will not be allowed to use the service till they agree with the new policies..
“To help users in Pakistan, WhatsApp has also developed these FAQs: (https://faq.whatsapp.com/general/security-and-privacy/answering-your-questions-about-whatsapps-privacy-policy?lang=ur) in Urdu,” said PTA.
The regulator also shared that the information given by WhatsApp has been “disseminated in good faith as a public service information without any liability whatsoever on the authority as a result of this information”.