In its blog, instant messaging platform WhatsApp announced a new privacy feature to its groups. The social messaging platform stated that this new privacy setting and invite system it is introducing will help users decide who can add them to groups.
The blog stated that as people turn to groups for important conversations, users have asked for more control over their experience.
Explaining how it works the blog added:
"To enable it, go to Settings in your app, then tap Account > Privacy > Groups and select one of three options: “Everyone,” “My Contacts,” or “My Contacts Except.” “My Contacts” means only users you have in your address book can add you to groups and “My Contacts Except” provides additional control for who among your contacts can add you to a group."
The 'My Contacts Except' option replaced the 'Nobody' option in the initial rollout after user feedback. The 'My Contacts Except' option allows users to exclude specific contacts or select 'all'. This update is rolling out to users around the world on the latest version of WhatsApp.
In these cases, an admin who cannot add a user to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat, giving the user the choice of joining the group. The user has three days to accept the invite before it expires. Then, the admin who can’t add you to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat, giving you the choice of joining the group. You'll have three days to accept the invite before it expires.
The idea of these features is to provide users more control over the group messages they receive. The privacy settings will roll out to some users starting today and will be available worldwide in the latest version of WhatsApp.
Currently, WhatsApp has been working to ensure privacy and security to all its users. According to a PTI report in September WhatsApp had informed the Indian government that 121 Indian users were targeted by the Israeli spyware Pegasus, but the IT ministry has contended that the information received from the messaging app earlier was inadequate and incomplete.
WhatsApp stated that it has now responded to the government's query from last week seeking an explanation on the Pegasus spyware incident that allegedly snooped on journalists and human rights activists across the world, including in India.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)
WhatsApp says alerted govt of spyware attack in Sept too; IT Min says past info was inadequate