WhatsApp Explains What Will Happen If You Reject Its New Privacy Policy


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WhatsApp will start to limit what users can do on the platform if they reject its new privacy policy.

An iPhone being held in the hand with WhatsApp's privacy notification on the screen

It’s been all over the news recently. WhatsApp is making a controversial change to its privacy policy, and many people aren’t happy about it. However, WhatsApp has now explained what will happen to your account if you don’t accept the new privacy policy.

How WhatsApp Will Limit Accounts That Don’t Accept Its New Privacy Policy

WhatsApp recently updated its FAQ page with an entry regarding what will happen to users who don’t accept the new privacy policy. After a period of several weeks from the acceptance date, May 15, users will see the notification to accept the new privacy policy become persistent.

Once the notification becomes persistent, users will lose access to their chat list on the app. Essentially this means you’ll lose most of the app’s functionality. You will only be able to accept voice and video calls, call back, and reply to messages from the notifications. This means you won’t be able to start conversations or make calls.

WhatsApp's graphic showing what will happen to accounts that don't accept the new privacy policy
Image Credit: WhatsApp

A few weeks after this limited functionality, WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls through to your phone, so you won’t be able to use the app at all. Throughout this whole period of limited functionality, you’ll still see the option to accept the new privacy policy in case you change your mind.

While WhatsApp makes it clear that it won’t delete your account if you don’t accept the policy, the usual inactivity policy applies. This means that after 120 days of inactivity on your WhatsApp account, your account will be deleted.

Related: Will WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy Make You Look for a New Messaging Service?

Given the fact that users are being forced into inactivity if they don’t accept the new privacy policy, it seems a bit disingenuous for WhatsApp to claim it won’t delete your account. While technically the reason for deletion isn’t that you didn’t accept the policy directly, it’s an unavoidable consequence.

In the FAQ, WhatsApp was sure to mention that users have seen the notification to accept the new privacy policy for the last few weeks. It seems there’s no stopping WhatsApp this time, and that the policy is being fully enforced.

What Is WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy?

As a quick reminder, WhatsApp’s new privacy policy allows the platform to see what you’re saying when communicating with businesses. This information gets shared with Facebook for marketing purposes.

WhatsApp has stressed that the new privacy policy does not allow the platform to see your messages when communicating with other users, only businesses, citing its end-to-end encryption.

Read More: WhatsApp Assures Users of Its Commitment to Your Privacy

However, given that WhatsApp can read your messages with businesses, many users are worried that the platform might snoop on private messages. There is no evidence to show that WhatsApp is doing this, but given Facebook’s shady past regarding user privacy, the concerns are understandable.

Expect More People to Leave WhatsApp Seeking Alternatives

Many users are so outraged by WhatsApp’s new privacy policy that they have flocked to more privacy-focused alternatives instead. These users have had enough of their data being shared with Facebook.

With WhatsApp now forcing users to accept its new privacy policy, it’s likely that more unhappy users will leave the platform as well.

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