WhatsApp promises to make its usage terms less confusing

WhatsApp has committed to making its terms of service agreements more transparent in the European Union after the platform published a highly confusing new policy that made users believe it would share their data with Facebook. In a press release posted to the EU Commission’s website, the agency says WhatsApp will make it easier for users to reject terms of service updates and will more clearly outline what happens when they do.

In response to the controversial policy change, the EU Commission and the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Network sent a letter to WhatsApp last year asking the service to “ensure that users understand what they agree to and how their personal data is used.”

WhatsApp has since agreed to make some changes to the way it rolls out user agreements and will now include the ability to reject policy changes as well as “prominently” display the option to accept them. The company has also committed to explaining how its policy changes could affect users’ rights and will allow users to dismiss or delay review of policy changes without bombarding them with recurrent notifications. When asked whether WhatsApp would carry over these changes to the US, the company declined to comment.

“I welcome WhatsApp’s commitments to changing its practices to comply with EU rules, actively informing users of any changes to their contract, and respecting their choices instead of asking them each time they open the app,” Didier Reynders, the EU Commissioner for Justice, says in a statement. “Consumers have a right to understand what they agree to and what that choice entails concretely, so that they can decide whether they want to continue using the platform.”

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