The app initially said that users who refuse to consent to the updated policy will ultimately have their accounts suspended or deleted. The enforcement for the revamped data-sharing practices was later pushed back to the middle of May.
“No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update. For the last several weeks we’ve displayed a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update.
After giving everyone time to review, we’re continuing to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent,” reads WhatsApp’s latest update on the issue.
Once the persistent reminder appears, the app’s functionality will become more and more limited over time – unless the user accepts the updated policy. The company went on to add that this won’t affect all users at the same time.
At first, users will still be able to answer both phone calls and video calls, but won’t be able to access their chat lists; however, if they have notifications enabled they will still be able to reply to messages and return missed calls. After this goes on for a few weeks, WhatsApp will no longer send any messages or calls to the user’s device.
Users who’ll refuse to accept the terms won’t have their accounts deleted by the company. They can download a report of their account and export their chat history before they move on to another platform and delete their WhatsApp accounts.
However, even after its assurances that the update was geared towards businesses and that user communications would remain private and secure, there have been reports of users leaving WhatsApp in spades in favor of competing platforms.
Indeed, the policy has no implications for the privacy of users’ conversations – those remain end-to-end encrypted and neither WhatsApp nor Facebook will be able view the contents of messages or listen in on user calls, or keep logs of who users interact with, among other things.
Additionally, WhatsApp users in Europe are exempt from the new rules.