privacy policy whatsapp pocketnow

WhatsApp drew intense backlash earlier this year after updating its privacy policy which talks about sharing data with Facebook, essentially asking users to accept them and keep using the service, or risk losing their account by rejecting the changes. After widespread criticism and debates over privacy concerns, the company pushed the implementation of its new policy to May 15, and ever since, has been trying to educate and convince users about the changes. Now, WhatsApp has explained what happens to your account if you don’t accept the updated privacy policies after the May 15 deadline.

If you don’t hit the ‘Accept’ button in time…

You won't be able to send messages or read the incoming texts

If you don’t accept the new privacy policies after May 15, you will lose some key functionality. Which ones exactly? “For a short time, you’ll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won’t be able to read or send messages from the app,” says the company on a new FAQ page titled What happens on the effective date?

You’ll lose key functions & risk account deletion

As for the ‘short time’ in WhatsApp’s ominous announcement, it will last a few weeks (via TechCrunch). WhatsApp has reportedly started sending a communique detailing the aforementioned changes to its merchant partners, which are apparently business accounts that use the platform for commerce and pay a fee in exchange to the Facebook-owned company.

What are your options?

So, you’re now left with two options:

  1. You give in and accept the new privacy policies.
  2. Download your chat history and delete your WhatsApp account.

You will still be able to accept the policy change after May 15 deadline

Now, WhatsApp says that you will still be able to accept its new privacy policies after May 15 and get back to using the app with full functionality. However, once the deadline hits and you haven’t hit the ‘ACCEPT’ button, your account will be classified as inactive. And inactive accounts are automatically deleted after 120 days. Here’s what WhatsApp classifies as inactivity on its official FAQ page:

An internet connection is required for an account to be active. If a user has WhatsApp open on their device, but they don’t have an internet connection, then the account will be inactive.

So, you essentially have 120 days to think and accept (or reject) WhatsApp’s updated privacy policies. However, each day after May 15, you will have to live with limited functionality (read: Not being able to send or read messages) if you haven’t accepted the new rules.

What if you delete your WhatsApp account?

Or, you can download your chat history and say goodbye to WhatsApp. However, the company says that if you delete your account, you will be kicked out from all groups, and all your chat history and backups will be permanently deleted. “It is something we cannot reverse,” WhatsApp says.

Alternatively, you can migrate your WhatsApp data to Telegram that the latter offers. You can move your WhatsApp chat – including media and documents – from personal as well as group chats with a new chat export feature in Telegram.

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.
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