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WhatsApp’s Much Criticized Privacy Policy Kicks In Tomorrow: If You Don’t Accept, This Is What Happens

(Image: WhatsApp)

(Image: WhatsApp)

The new WhatsApp privacy policy details how your data is shared with WhatsApp partners and across Instagram and Messenger within the Facebook family, which may be used for adverts.

May 15. The day when the new WhatsApp privacy policy finally comes into effect. The much criticized yet the implementation that has been significantly delayed because of user feedback, is still being pushed through. Albeit with one tiny change. No, nothing within the privacy policy has really changed, except that the Facebook owned WhatsApp wont simply delete your WhatsApp account if you don’t accept it. Instead, you’ll still lose a whole lot of functionality instead at some point. This includes periodic added restrictions of access to your chat list, notifications and calls. What’s better or worse—having your WhatsApp profile deleted because you disagree with something, or being slowly made to feel inadequate with functionality significantly restricted, including not allowing you to access the chat list in your WhatsApp and eventually killing the incoming calls and notifications too.

So, here is what is going to happen. WhatsApp says that for anyone who still hasn’t accepted their new terms of service, which WhatsApp calls “update”, they will first be sent persistent reminders to accept the new terms to use the app. While there is no specific window mentioned for the duration these persistent reminders would last or how persistent they would be, WhatsApp says that if you still don’t accept, there will be consequences. Till you accept. First, your access to the chat list within WhatsApp will be restricted, which means you won’t be able to see messages in what is essentially an instant messaging app. If you have notifications enabled on your phone, you’ll be able to see incoming messages in the notification itself and reply from there. You’ll able to answer incoming WhatsApp voice and video calls for the time being.

Then that’ll also stop. “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,” says WhatsApp. There is no specific time frame mentioned for what the ‘few weeks’ would be. It was in January this year that WhatsApp first started sending popups to users within the app, to accept the new terms of use. This details how WhatsApp’s service handles your data as well as how WhatsApp partners with the larger Facebook platform to allow integrations across multiple apps, including Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Considering that a lot of user information is shared with other Facebook companies, many users aren’t impressed.

In April, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said in the Delhi High Court that the new privacy policy of WhatsApp would lead to excessive data collection and “stalking" of consumers for targeted advertising to bring in more users and is therefore, an alleged abuse of dominant position. This is something WhatsApp has regularly denied.

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