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Accepted the new Terms of Service on WhatsApp? Here is what it means for you

If you have accepted WhatsApp's new terms of service, you cannot undo the changes. However, the new terms of service are only applicable to special business accounts, notes WhastApp, while private chats continue to remain end-to-end encrypted.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | May 18, 2021 | Updated 17:56 IST
(Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • WhatsApp’s new terms of service went live on May 15th, 2021, and is applicable to special business accounts.
  • You will not immediately lose WhatsApp’s features if you have not accepted the new terms of service.
  • However, WhatsApp on Monday told Delhi High Court that it is not going to defer the date of the new terms of service and it continues to be May 15th, 2021.

It has been over three days since WhatsApp's new terms of service went live. Now, if you have not clicked on "Accept" yet, you will not lose the functions on WhatsApp -- at least immediately. However, if you are someone who thought you will have to comply with the new terms sooner or later, and did go ahead and clicked on Accept, WhatsApp will bring about some changes. No, you cannot "undo" the changes once you have accepted the new terms. WhatsApp on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it is not going to defer the May 15th deadline, and users not accepting new terms will lose features to the app over a span of time. It also noted that the company was complying with the Indian IT law in contrast to the Centre's views.

WhatsApp on its help center announced that "The changes are related to optional business features on WhatsApp, and provide further transparency about how we collect and use data.". According to features tracker, WaBetaInfo, WhatsApp users have two business accounts -- the one that uses cloud providers and the ones that do not. The new privacy policy is only applicable to the first type of business accounts, while the other one is treated like personal accounts whose messages and data will be end-to-end encrypted according to WhatsApp.

Reports noted that contacting a normal business account is like chatting with a friend or family member while chatting with a business account that uses cloud providers can give access to the details of the chat to generate targeted ads. The special business accounts will have labels and users can check a business' privacy policy by sending a single message before starting a conversation.

Only the chats between WhatsApp business accounts that use cloud providers and users can be stored and managed by business accounts, which is also possible only if the user contacts them. The report notes that these special business accounts are labeled so users can restrict themselves from interacting with these accounts if they wish to. Secondly, user's data can be targeted if users interact with business accounts on Instagram or Facebook to generate ads. It is entirely up to the user if he or she wants to use Facebook shops, notes WhatsApp. If users interact with Facebook shops, WhatsApp will inform users how this action is shared with Facebook.

Kapil Sibal, who represented WhatsApp, told Delhi High Court on Monday that WhatsApp is not deferring its update on the privacy policy which has now come into force. He said it would not straightaway delete the accounts and would rather persuade people to come on board. But, if the users are not convinced, slowly their accounts would be deleted.


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