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This article was published on May 7, 2021

WhatsApp backtracks on its threat — won’t deactivate accounts for not accepting new policy

It will keep reminding you to accept the policy

WhatsApp backtracks on its threat — won’t deactivate accounts for not accepting new policy Image by: CS
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

WhatsApp said today that it won’t delete or deactivate your account if you don’t accept its privacy policy that’s rolling out on May 15.

The Facebook-owned chat app had originally introduced the updated privacy policy in January through a pop-up to users. However, after a major user backlash, it decided the rollout to February 8 and eventually to May 15.

The company had said at that time that if a user won’t accept the new privacy policy by then, their accounts would be deactivated temporarily. In order to activate the account, they had to accept the policy. Despite many reassurances, users moved to other chat apps such as Telegram and Signal in protest.

In a statement, the company said it won’t deactivate any accounts but will keep reminding them to accept the policy.

While the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, we appreciate some people haven’t had the chance to do so yet.

No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update and no onewill lose the functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks.

WhatsApp specified that while it won’t delete your account, you will start losing core features of the app  —such as not being able to access your chat list, and eventually stop getting message notifications — if you don’t accept the policy. The company didn’t mention after how many weeks it’ll start restricting your features at this moment.

The new policy lays the ground for better communication with businesses and other Facebook apps. In February, the company introduced a banner atop chats to give people more information about this policy change.

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