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“I do not authorise” – would sending this to ten groups exempt you from Whatsapp’s new policy?

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A viral WhatsApp message claims sending “I do not authorise” WhatsApp new policy to ten WhatsApp groups exempts you from the policy.

False.

Full Text 

In January, WhatsApp began notifying Its users of an update in its terms of service and privacy policy.

The notification sent out to both Android and iOS users read, “By tapping Agree, you accept the new terms and privacy policy, which take effect on 8 February 2021. After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp.”

There has been public confusion on what this new policy is about with misinformation spreading on this policy and what it means for the user. 

One section of the policy that raises concern among users is that user data is collected and shared with Facebook.

The confusion surrounding the update has contributed to a mass of users moving to competing apps like Signal. According to a report by CNN Signal had about 7.5 million installations globally from the App Store and Google Play within three days.

Quoting market intelligence firm Sensor Tower, this is more than 43 times the installations it received during the previous week.

This led to a delay in the update of the policy. On Friday, January 15, 2021, Whatsapp announced moving back the update deadline from February 8, 2021, to May 15, 2021.

Following this, a WhatsApp message going viral claims tomorrow begins the new WhatsApp rule, noting today is the deadline with no specific dates for “tomorrow” or “today”.

Screenshot of the WhatsApp message

Verification

First observation Dubawa noticed was the error in the spelling of WhatsApp as Whatsap all through the viral message. 

Claim 1: Today is the deadline for WhatsApp’s new rule, new rule begins tomorrow.

The viral WhatsApp message claims the deadline is today with no specific date for today. This could mean anyway depending on when the message is shared or when the message gets to a user. For Example, Dubawa got the message on Sunday, January 17, 2021which then means the “new rule” begins Monday, January 18, 2021. 

This is false as the update sent to users by WhatsApp on January 4, 2021, noted users had to accept the policy by February 8, 2021, or lose access to their accounts.

Also, a new update moved up the deadline to May 15, 2021. 

Claim 2: Everything posted can be published.

This claim is false as WhatsApp has clearly stated it protects and secures personal messages and that the changes are related to optional business features on the app.

According to WhatsApp, they can’t see your personal messages or hear your calls and neither can Facebook, they don’t keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling, they can’t see your shared location and neither can Facebook, they don’t share your contacts with Facebook, groups remain private, you can set your messages to disappear, and you can download your data to see what information WhatsApp has on your account right from within the app.

We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. The changes are related to optional business features on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data”.

Excerpt of WhatsApp’s response to privacy policy questions.

Screenshots of WhatsApp FAQs on its policy and personal information.

WhatsApp also noted that the new changes are to support over 175 million people who message a business account every day by enabling customer service to address questions or enquiries, discovering businesses through adverts on Facebook and Instagram, better shopping experiences so people with businesses on Facebook and Instagram can also expand to WhatsApp.

Claim 3: Sending “I DO NOT AUTHORIZE” to ten WhatsApp groups protects your account from the new rule.

According to this claim, after sending this to 10 groups, your account will get a tick (✔️) signal that means your account is now protected.

This is false as dubawa followed the instruction and nothing appeared on the WhatsApp account.

Dubawa also reached out out to WhatsApp Messenger support on this claim but so far no response was received.

Conclusion

All claims contained in this viral WhatsApp message are false. 

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