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Haven't accepted new WhatsApp privacy policy? Don't worry, you will not lose app features

WhatsApp has clarified that no user will lose functionality, no matter if they have accepted the privacy policy or not.

twitter-logoShubham Verma | May 17, 2021 | Updated 12:41 IST

Highlights

  • WhatsApp has confirmed no one would lose any functionality of the app.
  • Some reports previously said features such as calling and posting Status will be stripped off.
  • WhatsApp's deadline for accepting the new privacy policy was May 15.

In what may be a big relief, WhatsApp has said users who have not accepted the new privacy policy will not lose functionality after the deadline. The Facebook-owned chat app has been prompting millions of its users to accept the privacy policy since January earlier this year. The final deadline for that was May 15.

WhatsApp now requires all its users in India to accept the new privacy policy, a move that has been at the centre of controversies ever since Facebook announced back in January that its users will have to give up a little more data about themselves to help businesses communicate better. And there were many users reluctant to accept the privacy policy that was thrown in their faces through frequent pop-ups in the app. Initially, there was confusion that their WhatsApp accounts would be deleted over -- something that led to the exodus of many users to rival platforms such as Signal and Telegram. Later, however, WhatsApp said it is not going to remove the accounts of these users. Then came another round of rumours that made the privacy policy a nightmare for many users.

These users have feared that WhatsApp will take away features from the app if they do not accept the privacy policy. In fact, this resistance turned into a litmus test for several WhatsApp users. But now, WhatsApp has backtracked, again, on its plans to get users to accept the privacy policy. The Facebook-owned app will not terminate certain functionalities for these users.

"While the majority of users have already approved our update, no one will lose functionality on May 15 if they haven't yet and we'll be sure to provide reminders at a later time," a WhatsApp spokesperson told Mint.

While WhatsApp is no longer going to limit the functionality of its app for both Android and iOS platforms, it is still going to pester users who have not accepted the privacy policy changes. If you are one of these users, you will keep seeing random pop-ups whenever you open WhatsApp on your phone. The pop-up reminds you to accept the privacy policy and that it is important for the company to serve you better. Ever since Facebook sparked off the debate over user privacy with the new changes that will collect more data about you than before, privacy advocates have lambasted Facebook. Not just them, various governments, including that of India, have asked WhatsApp to reconsider its new privacy policy. But both Facebook and WhatsApp have maintained their stance.

"We want everyone to know that this update does not impact the privacy of personal messages. We're providing information about new options we are building to communicate with businesses that people may choose to use in the future," the spokesperson added.

Except for those who live in Europe, the entire user base of WhatsApp will eventually need to accept the privacy policy. And even if WhatsApp has receded in terms of compelling its users into a do-or-die-like situation, it will not stop asking them from agreeing to the new privacy policy. It is possible that you may start seeing these prompts about accepting the privacy policy on Instagram and Facebook, although the company has not said anything about this. But you never know what Facebook can do, especially with the heap of data it already has on you.

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