WhatApp to Turkish users: We do not access your messages

WhatsApp once again on Jan. 15 assured Turkish users that the content of their messages both on the messaging app and Facebook would remain encrypted. The statement came after Turks, concerned about that the possible sharing of their personal information, began downloading alternative messaging applications such as Signal or Telegram.

Duvar English

WhatsApp on Jan. 15 issued a statement for its users in Turkey, reiterating that it does not access messages sent through the application or through Facebook.

“We have received many questions from our users in Turkey, since we have updated our security policy, and we would like to answer these questions. As of this morning, we have started to send a special message to our users in Turkey that reconfirms WhatsApp and Facebook cannot see your messages,” the company said in a statement.

The statement came WhatsApp's updated terms of service raised eyebrows in Turkey.

WhatsApp laid out fresh terms on Jan. 6, asking users to agree to let owner Facebook Inc and its subsidiaries collect user data, including their phone number and location. The users must accept the changes or see their access to the service cut off from Feb. 8.

Rival messaging apps Signal and Telegram have since seen a sudden increase in demand.

This week, Turkey's Competition Authority as well as the Personal Data Protection Authority (KVKK) announced they each launched an investigation into WhatsApp.

Turkey's government has targeted social media companies with new restrictions and fines since it passed a law in July it says bolsters local oversight of foreign firms. Critics say the law stifles dissent from Turks who resorted to online platforms after the government tightened its grip on mainstream media.