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WhatsApp privacy update: What happens after May 15?

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 20, 2021

WhatsApp’s controversial privacy update and terms of service will come into effect from May 15.

The Facebook-owned messaging platform had postponed the deadline for users to accept the update to its privacy policy and terms of service by three months with the new options now being made available on May 15.

Earlier this week, the platform, in a blog post said that in the coming weeks, it will display a banner in WhatsApp allowing users to read, review and accept the policy “at their own pace” before the May 15 deadline.

FAQ page

So, what happens after May 15? The company, in an FAQ page (via TechCrunch) detailed the steps it will take in terms of users who do not accept the terms before the deadline.

Users who do not accept the update will lose certain functionalities within the app, followed by the implementation of WhatsApp’s inactive accounts policy.

“To give you enough time to review changes at your own pace and convenience, we’ve extended the effective date to May 15th. If you haven’t accepted by then, WhatsApp will not delete your account,” reads the FAQ page.

“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,” it said.

Users can still accept the updates after May 15, but WhatsApp’s policy related to inactive users will apply. As per the policy, WhatsApp accounts are “generally deleted” after 120 days of inactivity.

Users can export their chat history on Android or iPhone, and download a report of their account before May 15.

“If you’d like to delete your account on Android, iPhone, or KaiOS, we hope you reconsider. It is something we cannot reverse as it erases your message history, removes you from all of your WhatsApp groups, and deletes your WhatsApp backups,” the FAQ page further reads.

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Published on February 20, 2021
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