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WhatsApp empowers users with new privacy controls

WhatsApp groups continue to connect family, friends, coworkers, classmates and more. As people turn to groups for important conversations, users have asked for more control over their experience. We’re introducing a new privacy setting and invite system to help you decide who can add you to groups.

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.

In those cases, an 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.

With these new features, users will have more control over the group messages they receive. These new privacy settings will begin rolling out to some users and will be available worldwide in the coming days to those using the latest version of WhatsApp.

Sadaf Khan, Director, Media Matters for Democracy said that “With WhatsApp increasing playing an integral part in the way communities now connect, communicate and even perform their professional functions, it is becoming essential that consumers privacy and safety concerns are taken more seriously. Developing new ways to increase consumers’ control is a positive step. We appreciate WhatsApp’s efforts to give agency to it’s consumers and hope that as it’s influence grows, WhatsApp would continue to recognize it’s responsibilities and would continue to empower consumers with tools that help them define their own information experience in an active and an informed manner. “.