WhatsApp users wont be able to text or call without signing off on new privacy policy – Business Insider

  • WhatsApp is asking users again to sign off on its new privacy policy by May 15.
  • Users who miss deadline won’t be able to text or make calls, per an email viewed by TechCrunch.
  • WhatsApp tried to get users to sign off on the new policy in January, but caused a privacy scare.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

WhatsApp is trying once again to get its users to sign its new privacy policy, this time without causing a privacy scare.

WhatsApp announced Thursday it would be slowly asking users to consent to its new privacy policy, which in January caused a privacy scare and sent users flocking to rival messaging apps Signal and Telegram.

Users have until May 15 to sign off on the new privacy policy. TechCrunch reported that if they miss it, some core parts of the WhatsApp app will become unusable.

In an email to one of its business partners and obtained by TechCrunch, WhatsApp said if users don’t agree to the new terms and conditions by May 15 then: “For a short time, these users will be able to receive calls and notifications, but will not be able to read or send messages from the app.” 

WhatsApp confirmed this was the case, and directed Insider to an FAQ page detailing the process.

Per TechCrunch, this “short time” will last a few weeks. It’s not entirely clear what will happen to users after this time has elapsed, but the FAQ page states that WhatsApp’s policy to “inactive users” will apply after May 15.

WhatsApp’s policy on inactive accounts is that they are “generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity.”

This time around, WhatsApp is taking a gentler approach to asking users to sign off on its new policy, which materially only affects the data of messages being sent to business accounts.

The messaging app will explain the update via an in-app banner, which will take users to a full explanation of the changes. This is as opposed to January’s pop-up notification, which appeared to offer users an ultimatum of either complying with the new policy or losing access to the app.

Its original deadline was February 8, but this was extended to May 15, following the backlash from users.

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