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Latest WhatsApp update increases user privacy in group chats

WhatsApp has announced a new privacy feature allowing users to choose who can add them to newsgroups. To combat growing privacy concerns after the infamous Cambridge Analytica data scandal, the Facebook company said users would now be invited to send an individual invitation via a private chat to the person that they want to add to the group chat. The recipient will have the option to accept or decline the invitation within three days of expiration.

To enable this configuration, users must access the Application Settings menu. From there, they must select Account> Privacy> Groups, which will give them access to three options: Person, My Contacts, or All. Selecting the first option would require the user to receive the approval request whenever someone tries to add it to a group. By selecting My Contacts, the user will allow all members of their contact list to add them to groups without asking for permission. The default configuration before everyone else was Everyone.

This feature was long overdue as the instant messaging application was flooded with false information and invitations to misleading spam groups. With this new update, users can now choose and verify the authenticity of the information transferred.

Although the updated version of the application was launched Wednesday around the world, officials say it is a gradual deployment and it will take several weeks for everyone to access it.

Previously, WhatsApp had put a limit in place to regulate the number of times a message could be transmitted to prevent the spread of false information. Only time will tell to what extent this new update will succeed in limiting the lack of communication.

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