WhatsApp Privacy Policy: May 15 deadline deferred, accounts will not be deleted

The Facebook-owned messaging app, WhatsApp, has confirmed that instead of deleting the accounts of the users who do not accept the new privacy policy, it will limit their functionality.
Created On: May 13, 2021 18:06 IST
Modified On: May 13, 2021 18:57 IST
WhatsApp Privacy Policy
WhatsApp Privacy Policy

The Facebook-owned messaging app, WhatsApp, has confirmed that instead of deleting the accounts of the users who do not accept the new privacy policy, it will limit their functionality. The users who wish to continue using all the features of WhatsApp will have to assent to the new privacy policy at some point. 

For the last several weeks we've displayed a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update. After giving everyone time to review, we're continuing to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent,” as per the WhatsApp FAQ page.  

This means that the moment users start receiving persistent reminders, they will encounter limited functionality until they give their assent to the new privacy policy. 

On 4 January 2021, WhatsApp updated its privacy policy and asked the users to assent to it to continue using the platform. Under fire for its updated privacy policy and February 8 deadline, WhatsApp agreed to push it to May 15. However, after facing severe backlash, WhatsApp deferred its May 15 deadline. 

What is the new privacy policy of WhatsApp?

What will happen to the users who do not accept the new privacy policy?

The users who do not assent with the latest privacy policy rolled out by WhatsApp will still be able to use their accounts but with limited functionality. Initially, the users will not be able to access the WhatsApp chat list but will be able to answer incoming voice and video calls. In case the notifications are enabled, the user will be able to read or respond to a message or call back a missed voice or video call through the notification panel. 

However, after a few weeks, users who do not assent to the new privacy policy will stop receiving incoming calls or messages notifications. Also, if you choose to delete your WhatsApp account, your message history will be deleted and you'll be removed from all the WhatsApp groups. Your backup will be deleted too. As per WhatsApp, if an account is inactive for 120 days, it automatically gets deleted.

What's changing and What's not in the new privacy policy?

WhatsApp in its FAQ section mentioned that its commitment to privacy won't change with the updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. The personal conversations of the users will still be end-to-end encrypted. This means that no one outside their chats, not even WhatsApp or Facebook, can read or listen to them.

What is changing?

1- Users will be able to talk to more businesses on WhatsApp to get things done faster compared to phone or email. This is completely optional. Users can block or remove them from their contact list. 

2- More clarity is provided on how WhatsApp collect, share and use data. Also, the layout has been simplified to make it easier for users to navigate. 

What is not changing?

1- The privacy and security of the personal chats of the users with their family and friends will never change.

2- The users can choose to share their number with a business or not and can block a business anytime. 

3- The assent to the new Terms of Service does not expand WhatsApp’s ability to share user data with its parent company Facebook.

The privacy policy had caused a lot of uproars and furthermore saw some deception being spread about WhatsApp, thereby prompting a spike in growth for applications like Signal and Telegram.

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