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WhatsApp Scraps May 15 Deadline for Accepting New Privacy Policy Terms

By Susshmita Choubey - 
7th May 2021

Facebook-owned WhatsApp remains in the news for the last few months due to some of its decisions. After causing a wave of concern in India on privacy with its new policy terms – it has decided to scrap its deadline. To recall, the social media platform asked users to accept the new terms until May 15 or face deletion of the account. However, this topic remained in news for quite some time now since January.

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After severe backlash at the start, they pushed the deadline from Feb 8 to May 15. Now, WhatsApp scraps its May 15 deadline for users to accept its controversial privacy policy update. In addition, it confirms not accepting the terms will not lead to deletion of accounts.

“No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update. No one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks”.

spokesperson in an emailed response to a query on Friday.

According to the company, the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them. However, some users have not had the chance to do so yet. Although, WhatsApp has not clarified why they have changed its decision to do so yet. Let us, however, take a look at its timeline:

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WhatsApp Privacy Policy: Quick Recap

If we recall, WhatsApp privacy policy is a set of terms that allow the messaging platform to keep account of and share user data with its parent firm Facebook. However, it only affects Business accounts and not regular user accounts.

According to the company, the data that WhatsApp will have access to includes phone numbers and transactional data. We should also remember – your private messages remain end-to-end encrypted and therefore are still secure.

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However, there was user backlash over WhatsApp’s alleged sharing of user information with Facebook. It forced the company to postpone the February deadline to May 15. In turn, the company has spent the last few months working to “clear up confusion and misinformation”.

This step in general is widely appreciated as messaging platforms have become important in trying times like these. They have become lifelines for people looking for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, plasma donors, and ventilators as the country reels under the deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As a reminder, this update does not impact the privacy of personal messages for anyone. Our goal is to provide information about new options we are building that people will have, to message a business on WhatsApp, in the future,” the spokesperson said.


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