New Delhi: Amid widespread outrage over a leak of private WhatsApp group chats on search engines, the Facebook-owned messaging service on Tuesday issued a clarification and said private messages shared on the platform are “NOT shared” with Facebook. Also Read - WhatsApp Privacy Row: Parliamentary Panel to Grill Facebook Executives Over Recent Policy Change

“We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption,” WhatsApp said in a statement. Also Read - Breaking News January 20 Updates

Listing what information is shared and not shared with Facebook, it said: Also Read - WhatsApp Calls New Privacy Policy ‘Transparent’, Says Working on Addressing Misinformation on Policy Update

> WhatsApp cannot see your private messages or hear your calls and neither can Facebook

> WhatsApp does keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling

> WhatsApp cannot see your shared location and neither can Facebook

> WhatsApp does not share your contacts with Facebook

> WhatsApp groups remain private

> You can set your messages to disappear

> You can download your data.

Addressing the biggest speculation surrounding privacy of group chats, WhatsApp further said, “We don’t share this data with Facebook for ads. Again, these private chats are end-to-end encrypted so we can’t see their content.” It also shared a link to WhatsApp’s privacy policy for users to get the authentic information.

The clarification comes a day after Google had indexed with invite links to private WhatsApp group chats, meaning anyone can join various private chat groups with a simple search. This is the second time private chats have been allegedly leaked from the messaging app.

WhatsApp had recently faced a huge security crisis when over 4,000 links inviting people to join private groups had been indexed on Google, suggesting a massive data breach and enabled anyone to join these groups.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp is changing its privacy policy and you have to ‘agree and accept’ if you plan to keep using the app post-February 8.

WhatsApp’s updated policy says that it may share your information with its family of companies to facilitate, support as well as integrate their activities and improve services.

The new update has also caused huge concerns over the new privacy policy, especially with respect to data sharing with its parent company Facebook.