WhatsApp relaxes May 15 deadline but Facebook is arm-twisting users into accepting the revised Privacy Policy

WhatsApp Facebook Privacy Policy
Facebook relaxes deadline but may arm-twist users into accepting Privacy Policy. Pic credit: HeikoAL/Pixabay

Facebook has graciously extended the May 15 deadline for accepting the new Privacy Policy for WhatsApp. However, the social media giant will reportedly arm-twist users to obtain their consent.

WhatsApp had earlier indicated that users who refuse to accept the new Privacy Policy could face suspension. Although the instant messaging platform has extended the deadline, the platform’s owner, Facebook, could essentially pester and coerce users.

WhatsApp users won’t lose any functionality if they fail to accept its new privacy policy by May 15th:

The updated WhatsApp FAQ now clearly mentions: “No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update”.

This is in stark contrast to the last update. Previously, the platform had warned that failing to accept the new terms by the May deadline could mean losing functionality. WhatsApp had mentioned the same while extending the previous deadline to May 15th.

The page continued its strong-arm wordings by mentioning: “We’ve extended the effective date to May 15th. If you haven’t accepted by then, WhatsApp will not delete your account. However, you won’t have the full functionality of WhatsApp until you accept. For a short time, you’ll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won’t be able to read or send messages from the app [emphasis added].”

Facebook won’t delete accounts, but will severely limit functionality after May 15 deadline?

WhatsApp won’t delete accounts of those individuals who do not accept the new privacy policy on May 15. However, the platform will send reminders about accepting the same over the next “several weeks.”

WhatsApp has previously confirmed that while it won’t terminate accounts immediately. Users who don’t accept the new terms will have only “limited account functionality” available to them until they do.

What this basically means is that after May 15 deadline comes and goes, WhatsApp could start sending reminders for a few days. Users who continue to hold out could start losing access to their chat list.

Such users would still be able to see and respond to notifications as well as answer voice and video calls. If these users continue to remain adamant, the platform will then switch off all incoming notifications and calls for your account, effectively rendering it useless.

Although there is no new deadline, the platform’s policies pertaining to inactive users and accounts are quite clear on the matter. WhatsApp indicates it generally deletes inactive accounts after 120 days.

It is amply clear that Facebook will not roll back the Privacy Policy Update. The company seems to be soothing user sentiments.

It is apparent that WhatsApp users will have to agree to the new policy if they wish to continue using the instant messaging platform. Incidentally, there doesn’t seem to be any way to opt-out if a user has already accepted the new Privacy Policy.

Reports suggest the removal of the May 15 deadline is applicable in select countries only. However, European countries compliant with GDPR continue to remain shielded.

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