WhatsApp Group Call and Privacy Changes. App is still not fully POPI compliant, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Last week it was reported that the messaging application, WhatsApp has rolled out additional functionality for their group calls option. One will now be able to see who joins a group call. The user can also mute someone and even message someone on the group call, even if you were not the person initiating the group call.  

On the privacy front, WhatsApp users can now block persons from seeing their profile picture, status and ‘last seen’ information. Even though the services provided by the Meta Group of Companies are still far from being compliant with South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), these changes, which will be implemented incrementally, may be viewed as a step the right direction (For a Guide to ensuring that your own business is POPIA compliant, click here).  

There was public outcry in 2021 to unilateral changes made to the WhatsApp user terms dealing with privacy, but users may be slightly comforted by these new privacy updates.  

It remains critical for the users to acquaint themselves with the terms and conditions of WhatsApp and to understand what they agree to by their continued use of the messaging platform. 

Commentary by
Chanique Rautenbach
Senior Associate

CHANIQUE RAUTENBACH
Senior Associate

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