WhatsApp will not limit user accounts on May 15 over policy update

Embargoed to 0001 Saturday May 08 File photo dated 15/03/19 of an icon on a smartphone for the app WhatsApp, as rail passenge
Embargoed to 0001 Saturday May 08 File photo dated 15/03/19 of an icon on a smartphone for the app WhatsApp, as rail passengers will be able to use it and Facebook Messenger to receive details of transport options for completing journeys after travelling by train. Issue date: Saturday May 8, 2021.

WhatsApp will not limit the accounts of users who ignore prompts to agree to the app’s updated terms and conditions, having previously warned it would do so from May 15.

The Facebook-owned messaging service is updating its terms and privacy policy and requires all users to agree to the changes in order to continue using the platform.

But the firm has now said it will give those who have not agreed to the changes several more weeks to do so before limiting the functionality or deleting their account.

“We’ve spent the last several months providing more information about our update to users around the world,” the messaging platform said in a statement.

“In that time, the majority of people who have received it have accepted the update and WhatsApp continues to grow.

“However, for those that have not yet had a chance to do so, their accounts will not be deleted or lose functionality on May 15. We’ll continue to provide reminders to those users within WhatsApp in the weeks to come.”

This planned update first made headlines earlier this year when WhatsApp began sending full-screen notifications to users alerting them they needed to review and agree to the new terms, which combined with references to parent company Facebook, sparked confusion and concern among some users over possible increased data sharing – forcing WhatsApp to clarify the policy and delay its rollout.

The platform has reiterated that the update will not allow WhatsApp or Facebook to read or listen to messages sent by users and is instead focused on policy changes necessary to allow users to message businesses on WhatsApp.

For those who still have not accepted the new terms, WhatsApp said that after several weeks of reminders, the prompt will become persistent and will limit app functionality – including stopping the user’s ability to access their chat list.

If still ignored, after several weeks the ability to send and receive messages would be cut off.

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