WhatsApp will gradually disable your app if you don’t accept new privacy policy

WhatsApp users will have no choice but to accept the app’s new privacy policy if they wish to keep using the messaging platform, otherwise features will be systematically reduced until the app is unusable.

This is according to a new piece of information within an official WhatsApp support article.

WhatsApp’s announcement of a change in policy in January was met with fierce resistance from the public and as a result its implementation was moved back from February to 15 May 2021.

The company afforded some peace of mind to users by publicly stating that “no-one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15 because of this update”.

However, that statement does not account for what happens after this date.

According to the support article, if you have not accepted WhatsApp’s new policy “after a period of several weeks”, the notification requesting your acceptance “will eventually become persistent”.

Initially you will lose access to your chat list and you will not be able to open or respond to any messages. At this point, you will still be able to answer incoming calls.

The only way to access your chats or return calls will be by making sure all notifications for WhatsApp are turned on.

This will enable you to continue communicating on WhatsApp without actually opening the app, which you will no longer be able to do.

“If you have notifications enabled, you can tap on them to read or respond to a message or call back a missed phone or video call,” the support article states.

Then, “after 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”.

This will in effect render the app unusable for anyone who has not accepted the new policy.

The only function still available at this point will be to download and export your chat history and to receive a report of your account.

Your account will, however, not be deleted if you do not accept the policy.

Instead, a different piece of policy will make your account eligible for deletion after 120 days of inactivity, which – if you choose not to accept the policy – will be a natural consequence.

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Now read: Register for a COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa via WhatsApp or SMS

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WhatsApp will gradually disable your app if you don’t accept new privacy policy