WhatsApp will become less useful if you don’t accept new privacy rules

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 09, 2021

You may not be able to receive calls, messages after a few weeks

WhatsApp will not delete accounts of those who do not accept its new privacy policy but the Facebook-owned messaging platform will slowly turn off features over a period of time.

“After a few weeks of limited functionality, you won’t be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone,” WhatsApp said.

WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy, which was made known on January 4, essentially takes away the choice users had until now to not share their data with other Facebook-owned and third-party apps.

The company had earlier said that if users do not agree with the updated privacy policy of the messaging platform, they will have to quit WhatsApp by February 8.

May 15 deadline deferred

The messaging platform had postponed the deadline for users to accept the update to its privacy policy and terms of service by May 15 after facing severe backlash.

But despite cases being filed against the new privacy policy in Delhi High Court, WhatsApp is now going ahead with implementing it although it has not imposed a deadline for users to accept the terms of service. “No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update,” WhatsApp said in an update.

“After giving everyone time to review, we’re continuing to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent,” it said.

Users who receive the persistent reminder will encounter limited functionality on WhatsApp until they accept the updates.

Analysts said that while the updated privacy policy has been stoking concerns about privacy and data sharing with other apps, what is being missed amid the clamour is this: if India had a data protection law in place, WhatsApp would not have been able to go ahead with this update in the first place. In fact, India’s data protection law has been languishing for two years now.

“The new update essentially is another way to force users to accept its terms of service. WhatsApp may not delete the account but if users stop getting messages then its as good as not being able to use the service,” said a market analyst.

Published on May 08, 2021

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