WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy Deadline Has Arrived

WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy Deadline Has Arrived

At the start of 2021, WhatsApp announced its privacy policy updates, sparking outrage and backlash from its consumers as WhatsApp will share personal information with its parent company, Facebook.

Rather than change the policy, WhatsApp responded to this by pushing the deadline from the 8th of February to Saturday 15th May.

Under its new privacy policy, WhatsApp will be able to share user account information, including your phone number, a log of how often you use WhatApp, IP addresses, and other details about your device with Facebook. It will also share ‘transaction and payment data, cookies, and location information.’

What happens if you don’t accept the new privacy policy?

WhatsApp will gradually become unusable, as users lose access to the majority of its features in a phased approach. WhatsApp will begin to send reminders to accept the new policy from tomorrow and will disable some of its features for those who don’t accept after a few weeks.

In the interim period, WhatsApp will send ‘persistent reminders’, that increase in frequency, and users will be unable to access their chat list and will only be able to answer incoming calls and reply to messages.

If you choose not to accept the new privacy policy, you’ll lose the ability to make or receive incoming calls and messages.

I don’t want to accept the new privacy policy. What should I do?

Rather than just removing the app from your device, you also need to delete your account. WhatsApp has said it can take up to 90 days to remove your information.

To delete your account, you’ll need to open the app and go into your Settings, and then select Account. Enter your mobile number to confirm and press ‘Delete My Account’.

What has WhatsApp said about its changes?

In a statement released by WhatsApp within its Help Centre, WhatsApp stated:

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. The changes are related to optional business features on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. Learn more about new business features and WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy update here.”

Alternatives to WhatsApp

Many privacy and cybersecurity experts have encouraged people to come away from WhatsApp and instead use Signal, a messaging platform with a focus on privacy that has been backed by the co-founder of WhatsApp, Brian Acton.

Since the start of the year when WhatsApp announced its privacy policy changes, Signal has said it experienced “unprecedented” growth, and Telegram said it has gained tens of millions of users.

Copyright Lyonsdown Limited 2021

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