WhatsApp has been so controversial in recent months because of its new privacy policies that lead to sharing data with the parent company, Facebook. Now, the messaging app announced that if users don’t consent to its new policies, they will lose their account functionality after May 15.
According to what WhatsApp noted on its FAQ page, the users must agree with the privacy policies until May 15, and after that, they will lose some features of their account. “If you haven’t accepted by then, WhatsApp will not delete your account. However, you won’t have full functionality of WhatsApp until you accept. 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.”
WhatsApp now offers two options to the users. They can agree with new policies, even after May 15, and continue using the service. Or they can download a report of chats and delete the account. In case of removing the account, you will lose all data and WhatsApp backups.
Also, inactive users who were away for 120 days are at the risk of account deletion. Being inactive applies when users don’t have an internet connection to stay active.
Following the news of changes coming to WhatsApp’s policies, millions of users started their immigration to Telegram and Signal. Telegram announced it had surpassed 500 million monthly active users, and it even added a feature to export chats from WhatsApp. Signal also started adding new chat features.
Backlash didn’t help
It has been a long time that WhatsApp is sharing some information with Facebook, including phone numbers and other information that might be useful in advertising. According to the new policies, Facebook seeks more information like financial transactions. Facebook is not the only consumer of collected data. This data will be shared with other partners to create targeted ads and relevant offerings.
When users’ protests broke, WhatsApp said this is all because of “confusion” and “misinformation” around the new policy, and it tried to reassure users about the safety of their information.