While users were in search of WhatsApp alternatives like Signal and Telegram, the company said it would stick with the policy, rejecting claims that it would allow it to read personal messages. After facing legal challenges in various markets including India and Germany, the company later said it wouldn’t limit functionality if a user didn’t accept the policy, but that didn’t rescue it from consumer complaints in Europe and a $266 million fine by Irish regulators.
On Monday, the European Commission said in a statement that the company ‘’committed to being more transparent on changes to its terms of service’’. It has also agreed to ‘’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.’’
In addition, WhatsApp confirmed that it doesn’t share personal data with third parties or other Meta-owned companies for ad purposes, the Commission added.
Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, said: “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. 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.”