Accept new privacy policies or use WhatsApp with limited features

One major WhatsApp feature that will be limited includes receiving calls and messages as the messaging service will be disabled.

One major WhatsApp feature that will be limited includes receiving calls and messages as the messaging service will be disabled.

If you are keeping an eye on WhatsApp’s new privacy policies you may already know that the company has backtracked on its previous decision to deactivate or delete user accounts that didn’t accept sharing their data with Facebook companies. These companies include Facebook and Facebook Payments CrowdTangle, Onavo, and Facebook Technologies.

After severe backlash from the tech community and WhatsApp users, the company updated its privacy policy and reinforced its deadline of May 15th, 2021. However, the company now claims that “no one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality” instead, they might observe limited functionality.

What if you have Accepted the Terms of Service?

WhatsApp users are concerned that Facebook will collect more data if they accept WhatsApp’s new policy however they can still use the messaging platform as they previously did. It is how they interact with business accounts that will be changed, reports WABetaInfo, a reliable source for news related to Facebook companies.

There are two types of business accounts on WhatsApp, Normal account and Special business account, which uses cloud providers. Contacting a normal business account is like contacting any family or friend, and the chat details may be used for generating targeted ads on Facebook.

What Happens if You Don’t Accept the Terms of Service?

WhatsApp will not delete your account on May 15th, 2021. You also won’t lose your chat history and backup. You will still be able to answer or make voice calls and video calls, reply to messages from notifications, and send text messages in the first few weeks.

However, your usage of WhatsApp and access to some of its features will be limited, and you won’t be able to open the chat list. Some of the features, as stated by WhatsApp in a blog post, that you may not be able to use are as follows:

  • Send new status updates within WhatsApp.
  • Forward messages from one chat to another.
  • Manage or use broadcast lists or create new groups. But people can add you in groups if your privacy policy allows them to.
  • Quote messages, mention participants in groups created by you, send voice messages/stickers/other media types within the app.
  • Backup your history if you have disabled auto backup.
  • Click To Chat won’t be available to you.
  • Exporting chat history won’t be possible. iOS users won’t view shared media if they haven’t exported them previously, and Android users can view media using a File Manager.

What Happens After a Few Weeks?

You won’t be able to receive calls and messages as the messaging service will be disabled. But, you can still accept the Terms of Service and use WhatsApp again as your account won’t be deleted.

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, the company said.

WhatsApp to limit features unless users accept its new privacy policies

It is however noteworthy that regardless of accepting or not accepting WhatsApp’s new privacy policies the company deletes an account if it remains inactive for 120 days (4 months).

To maintain security, limit data retention, and protect the privacy of our users, WhatsApp accounts are generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity. Inactivity means the user hasn’t connected to WhatsApp, the company states in its FAQ page.

Switch to WhatsApp alternatives

There are several WhatsApp alternatives including Signal and Telegram. In fact, the Signal app is endorsed by Edward Snowden and has a proven track record of keeping as little user data as possible.

In April 2021, the encrypted chat platform went public about government subpoenas revealing how the United States Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California demanded personal user data including names, addresses, dates, and timing users sent messages to one other.

However, in a blog post, Signal stated that the company could not provide the data demanded in the subpoena since it does not collect any such information. 

The only information Singal maintains that is is responsive to this subpoena’s inquires about particular user accounts is the time of account creation and the time of the account’s last connection to Signal servers.

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1 comment
  1. Signal was fine until they added foreground service and run at startup

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