WhatsApp has announced a three-month delay to changes to its privacy policy following concerns over mandatory data-sharing with parent company Facebook.

The messaging platform had previously announced that from 8 February users would need to agree to some of their data being shared with Facebook if they wish to continue using the service.

This included account registration information (including phone numbers), transaction data, service-related information, information on how users interact with others when using the platform’s services, mobile device information and IP addresses.

However, in a fresh update, WhatsApp has said it has moved the date by which people need to accept the terms and conditions to 15 May. This follows report of users switching to rival messaging platforms such as Platform and Signal because of privacy concerns.

The company has now said it is seeking to “clear up the misinformation’ about its privacy and security policies.

It said the privacy policy update is intended to make it easier for users to message businesses through WhatsApp, as businesses would be able to access Facebook’s secure hosting services. It said personal messages would not be affected.

It said: “The privacy and security of your personal messages and calls do not change. They are protected by end-to-end encryption, and WhatsApp and Facebook cannot read or listen to them. We will never weaken this security and we label each chat so you know our commitment.

“The updates related to optional business features are a part of our broader efforts to make communicating with a business secure, better, and easier for everyone.”