That sparked global outcries and a rush of new users to competitor private messaging apps including Telegram and Signal.
The smartphone app, a huge hit across the world, canceled its February 8 deadline for accepting an update to its terms concerning sharing data with Facebook, saying it would use the pause to clear up misinformation around privacy and security.
“This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” it said in a statement.
Facebook has been rolling out business tools on WhatsApp over the past year as it moves to boost revenue from higher-growth units like WhatsApp and Instagram while knitting together e-commerce infrastructure across the company.
Facebook aims to monetize WhatsApp by allowing businesses to contact clients via the platform, making it natural for the internet giant to centralize some data on its servers.
It acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 but has been slow to monetize it.
The app already shares certain categories of personal data, including the user’s phone number and IP address, with Facebook.
“We don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook,” it said.
WhatsApp said in October that it would start to offer in-app purchases via Facebook Shops and would offer firms who use its customer service messaging tools the ability to store those messages on Facebook servers.
WhatsApp said at the time that chats with a business using the new hosting service would not be protected by the app’s end-to-end encryption.