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WhatsApp users may lose access to the app if they don't agree to terms of service in 2021

A WABetaInfo report notes that WhatsApp users must comply with the terms of service that may come into effect from February 8, 2021. The new policy is likely to include information on how WhatsApp processes its user's data.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | December 5, 2020 | Updated 16:53 IST
(Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • According to an online report, if WhatsApp users do not comply with the terms of service in 2021, they can lose access to their accounts.
  • The new policy will also speak about how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats.
  • The Facebook-owned platform will also roll out a new feature that will reportedly help WhatsApp to announce specific information to users within the app but will not involve ads.

WhatsApp users may lose their accounts if they do not agree to the new terms of service in 2021. An online report mentions that if users do not comply with the new terms of service, that are likely to roll out by February 8, 2021, WhatsApp users could lose all access. The report highlights that February 8 may be subject to change and by tapping on 'agree', the user will accept the terms of service and continue to use the app.

According to screenshots shared by WABetaInfo, the Facebook-owned company's new policy update will give further information on how WhatsApp processes its user's data. It will also speak about how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats. "If you don't agree with the changes, you can delete your WhatsApp account within WhatsApp Settings," the report reads.

The report notes that WhatsApp has released updates for Android (2.20.206.19) and iOS (2.20.130). The Facebook-owned platform will also roll out a new feature that will reportedly help WhatsApp to announce specific information to users within the app but will not involve ads. The in-app announcement feature will be used for purposes like announcing features, changes, news, information but not for ads.

The report also notes that these announcements will not be sent in the form of a chat but will appear as an in-app banner that can redirect to external websites or they can require specific user action.

In a separate report, WABetainfo has cited WhatsApp's FAQ that notes that the possibility for businesses to choose Facebook to store messages in 2021.

"Some businesses will be able to choose WhatsApp's parent company, Facebook, to securely store messages and respond to customers. While Facebook will not automatically use your messages to inform the ads that you see, businesses will be able to use chats they receive for their marketing purposes, which may include advertising on Facebook," the FAQ reads.

"WhatsApp Business API user has chosen a third party to manage their endpoint, WhatsApp does not consider these messages end-to-end encrypted. In the future, in 2021, this will also apply to businesses that choose to leverage the cloud-based version of the API hosted by Facebook," another FAQ reads.

However, users will be notified if their chats are stored and managed on Facebook. Further, WhatsApp notes that the encryption status of an end-to-end encrypted chat cannot change without the change being visible to the user.

WhatsApp also recently rolled out a set of new features like custom chat wallpapers, a sticker search feature, more doodle wallpapers, and a feature to set separate wallpapers for normal and dark mode, WhatsApp Pay, disappearing messages, and always mute.

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