WhatsApp relaxes deadline for accepting the new privacy policies | The Daily Star
05:11 PM, May 21, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:14 PM, May 21, 2021

WhatsApp relaxes deadline for accepting the new privacy policies

Initially set on February 8, the deadline to update the new privacy policies has been extended by WhatsApp in the face of backlash from the users on sharing user data with Facebook. However, it'll still be effective from May 15 for new users and for people who've already accepted the policy. The difference is that anyone who doesn't accept the policy now won't lose full functionality immediately. Instead, they'll be shown a reminder to accept the new policy. After May 15, if the users don't agree to the updated policies, the app will start reducing functionality and gradually become unusable to the said users.

"For the last several weeks we've displayed a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update," the company said in a statement. "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 several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent."

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The users who haven't accepted the new policy by now will start to see more pop-ups in WhatsApp outlining the changes with a big green Accept button at the bottom. On tapping it, WhatsApp will continue to share certain account data of the users with Facebook. If the users don't agree, they'll at first be able to hit a back arrow in the upper left corner of the overlay. Over time, though, the pop-ups will appear more frequently. Eventually, they won't be able to click away at all, and the app's functionality will start to degrade.

The users will be able to field incoming calls and by turning the notifications on, they can read and respond to messages that way. But they won't be able to see the chat list or initiate contact of any kind due to a privacy policy update blocking the path. After a few weeks of that stunted experience, WhatsApp will fully pull the plug, and they will not be getting calls or messages anymore.

Even after agreeing to the new privacy policies, all communications on WhatsApp will still be end-to-end encrypted by default, which implies that the messages and shared photos will still only be viewable by the users interacting. WhatsApp still won't be able to access any of the user's communications or share them with Facebook. Meanwhile, WhatsApp will be able to share user account information like the user's phone number, logs of how long and how often they use the app, device identifiers, IP addresses, and other details about the user's device with Facebook. Plus, WhatsApp can share transaction and payment data, cookies, and location information with Facebook if the users grant permission, all of which have been in effect since 2016. 

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