WhatsApp To Punish Its Users For Not Accepting Their Privacy Policy

WhatsApp is one of the most prominent messenger applications around the globe. From chatting to audio-video calling to attachment sharing, WhatsApp has it all.

WhatsApp keeps making changes to the application for a better and improved user experience. A few years ago, it rolled out the end-to-end encryption of the WhatsApp chats, which restricted everyone else but the sender and the receiver from reading or listening to whatever is being sent; not even WhatsApp could see users’ messages after end-to-end encryption. 

Recently in February, WhatsApp released its new terms and privacy policy. These new terms sparked a clash of interest between WhatsApp and its users to the point where many moved to other privacy-centric messaging applications like Signal and Telegram. WhatsApp earlier used to be a very “Privacy-First” application, but recently, after being acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp seems to have weakened its privacy norms. Such changes have made its users doubtful about the security of their data and messages.

The deadline to accept WhatsApp’s new Terms of services and Privacy Policy was May 15. As the deadline is right around the corner, WhatsApp just announced that the users wouldn’t lose the functionality, neither will their account be deleted if they choose not to accept the terms after the May 15 update. This announcement comes in the light of the earlier statement made in February, which warned the users that failure to accept the new Privacy Policy might result in the suspension of the messaging service.

WhatsApp has updated its FAQ page, stating that the users won’t lose their account but wouldn’t have complete functionality of the app until they accept the Privacy Policy. The FAQs read, “For the last several weeks, we’ve displayed a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the 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 several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent.”

WhatsApp has listed the features that would limit if users will not accept the policy even after the persistent alerts. Although it also said that such restrictions and holdouts would be different for everyone and will not happen at once.

In the beginning, users will lose access to the chat list. The only way left to contact anyone from your list will be when the other person texts or call you, and you respond through the WhatsApp notification. Later, WhatsApp will stop sending any messages or calls from your smartphone altogether. In the next step, WhatsApp will disable incoming messages, calls, or notifications on your phone.

Now you might be wondering that how nice it is of WhatsApp that they’re not going to delete your account; well, you’ll lose your account eventually if you don’t accept their Terms and Policies since WhatsApp automatically deletes those accounts which are inactive for more than 120 days. And a WhatsApp account that cannot send or receive messages is useless anyway.

This method of implementing their terms and policies seems like they are tricking us into accepting them one way or another because it’s us, the users of their platform, that will get affected by such a move. So, in the end, those who didn’t want to accept their Privacy Policy might end up accepting them for the sake of the functionality of the application.

Now only time will tell whether this latest decision by WhatsApp will be successful or if they will wait as urged by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) for India’s first dedicated Data Protection Bill to be passed, and then they might scrap the current policy and draft a new one.

Hi There! I am Elisa Wilson, and professionally, I work as a technical writer at a digital marketing company based in Ohio, and I have twelve years of experience in writing about OTT platforms. While writing an article or a blog, I try to embed knowledge and engagement, and I try to make people learn in a short, concise, and fun way. You can refer to this link: Roku.com/link.

Published by wilsonelisa430

Elisa Wilson is a technology writer and blogger with a passion for science and exploring new cultures. She has written extensively on topics concerning software, hardware, news updates, AI, and more.

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