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WhatsApp and May 15 privacy policy deadline: In 5 points story so far

WhatsApp had earlier informed users about its changing policies through an in-app notification. But later pushed the deadline to May 15 from February 8.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | May 13, 2021 | Updated 13:07 IST

Highlights

  • WhatsApp has faced severe criticism over its new privacy policy ever since the company had announced it.
  • WhatsApp announced that no user would lose access to their WhatsApp accounts even if they don’t accept the new privacy policy.
  • WhatsApp will not delete your account, it will limit functionality if you do not accept the privacy policy.

WhatsApp has faced severe criticism over its new privacy policy ever since the company had announced it. Due to the lack of clarity and misinformation around the new terms of service, several WhatsApp users migrated to other messaging apps including Signal, Telegram. Users were under the impression that WhatsApp will share the private information of users such as chats with Facebook. This also forced WhatsApp to change the deadline not once but twice.

WhatsApp had earlier informed users about its changing policies through an in-app notification. Earlier the deadline to accept the new policy was February 8 but looking at the response of the users, the company had postponed the deadline to May 15. However, now even the May 15 deadline is not valid as WhatsApp had scrapped it a couple of days ago. Along with scrapping the deadline, WhatsApp had also made some necessary announcements about the new privacy policy.

— WhatsApp had earlier warned users to accept the new privacy policy by May 15 to continue using the app. But not anymore. The company had made it clear that no user would lose access to their WhatsApp accounts even if they don't accept the new privacy policy. "No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks," a company spokesperson said.

— There is more to the announcement made by WhatsApp, and it clearly is not as simple as it sounds. While WhatsApp will not delete your account, it will limit functionality if you do not accept the privacy policy. This a very subtle method used WhatsApp to make users accept the new privacy policy. On one hand, it has made a reassuring announcement that users won't lose access to their accounts and on the other hand it will deprive the users of some major functionalities if the privacy policy is not accepted.

—WhatsApp has updated on its FAQ page that it will send persistent reminders to the users to accept the privacy policy. For weeks, it plans to remind users about it but if things don't happen as WhatsApp wants them to, you will lose features. The app will be turned into a soulless body because what will you do with your account if you are not able to access your chat list or send messages to your contacts?

— The first and foremost thing that WhatsApp will take away from its users is the chat list. That said, WhatsApp will still allow users to answer the incoming phone and video calls. And if you have enabled the notifications, you can tap on them to read or respond to a message or call back a missed phone or video call.

— This would be followed by repeated reminders to accept the new privacy policy. Failing this, users will not be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone. In a scenario like this, you only have to choose to either accept the policy or delete your account and move to another messaging app.

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