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WhatsApp update explained: The new terms and conditions – and what happens if you don’t accept privacy changes

2 min read

WhatsApp has confirmed that users will gradually lose access to key account features if they do not accept the impending privacy update.

The new privacy policy was originally planned to go live in February, but was delayed after rumours suggested it would force users to share their data with Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company.

This turned out not to be the case. The terms only apply to messages you send to businesses. Facebook and WhatsApp will continue to have no access to your private messages, calls, location and groups.

The update will come into effect from 15 May.

What is the new policy update?

WhatsApp said in a blog post: “Messaging with businesses is different than messaging with your family or friends. Some large businesses need to use hosting services to manage their communication.

“Which is why we’re giving businesses the option to use secure hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions, and send helpful information like purchase receipts.

“But whether you communicate with a business by phone, email, or WhatsApp, it can see what you’re saying and may use that information for its own marketing purposes, which may include advertising on Facebook.”

The company says it will “clearly label conversations with businesses that are choosing to use hosting services from Facebook” to ensure users are aware when their data may be shared.

What happens if I do not accept?

WhatsApp has said people will start using account functionality if they persistently refuse to accept the new terms. However, no one will have their account deleted.

“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,” WhatsApp said.

If you ignore these persistent reminders you will no longer be able to access your chat list, but will still be able to answer incoming phone and video calls.

If you have notifications enabled, you will be able to tap on them to read or respond to a message, or call back a missed phone or video call.

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, essentially rendering the app useless until you accept the new policy.

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