WhatsApp won't limit accounts that don't accept new privacy policy

Posted:
in iOS edited June 2
WhatsApp is no longer going to limit the accounts of users who do not accept the updated privacy policy, with the Facebook-owned iOS app now saying it wont be harming anyone's usage of the service for the moment.




Since February, WhatsApp has warned users to accept the new privacy policy it brought into force from May 15th. Users who didn't accept the changes were informed they "won't have full functionality of WhatsApp" until they accept, but it seems the app has backtracked on the threat.

In a statement where it claims to have talked to "various authorities and privacy experts," WhatsApp seems to have reversed course on limiting accounts. "We want to make clear that we currently have no plans to limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works for those who have not yet accepted the update," the statement to The Next Web states.

It follows on "Instead, we will continue to remind users from time to time about the update as well as when people choose to use relevant optional features, like communicating with a business that is receiving support from Facebook."

The statement is a considerable step backwards for WhatsApp, which was insistent in early May that after "several weeks" of non-acceptance, core functionality of the platform would have been restricted.

The policy changes produced an early user backlash on their announcement, which relate to how business chat logs are stored and retained on Facebook's servers, which critics saw as a wider grab for personal data from the social network. The backlash saw an exodus of millions of users from WhatsApp to other privacy services, which at one point caused an outage for rival chat service Signal.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,471member
    These assholes are caught between a rock and a hard place. For all their protestations about consumers being harmed by Apple’s privacy policies the consumers are flipping them the bird. Following Apple’s requirements means less advertising revenue. Threatening their customers with fees or restrictions is blowing up on their faces, showing the world their abject disdain for the source of their wealth... their customers.

    Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Bad boys, bad boys. 
    edited May 29 fotoformatMephisdogoleswilliamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 17
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,518member
    Not only could FaceBook find ways to persuade users to permit tracking, but they could also ask other companies to put the same pressure on their users before FaceBook will let those companies access FaceBook's online services. I'm not sure if that behavior would be monopolistic or illegal, but hey, we're dealing with the devil here.
    Mephisdogoles
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Too little, too late. I’ve already gone to Signal (not that the world revolves around me, mind) and shan’t be back.
    edited May 29 williamlondonivanhmuthuk_vanalingamcaladanian
  • Reply 4 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    For all their protestations about consumers being harmed by Apple’s privacy policies the consumers are flipping them the bird. Following Apple’s requirements means less advertising revenue.

    That’s probably the single best thing Apple ever did for consumers (in a longish kind of queue of things they’ve already accomplished), and I’m pleased they did. Most consumers are somewhat passive, but making the sharing of their private data an opt-in really shows what the value of these companies is in actuality; they are built upon shifting sands washed by the tides, and as castles built upon the shore, they too shall eventually crumble and decay. Companies like this simply shouldn’t even exist by rights.



    edited May 29 the1maximuswilliamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 17
    Too little, too late. I’ve already gone to Signal (not that the world revolves around me, mind) and shan’t be back.
    Would love for all my contacts in WhatsApp move to Signal. There've been a few waves of them I've noticed when a big bunch of new contacts appears in Signal. We just need another push or two and we might reach a tipping point, then good-fucking-bye to profit-off-people's-privacy-Zuckerberg.
    Mephisdogolescaladanian
  • Reply 6 of 17
    I’ve noticed the same thing: one big surge which then slowed to a trickle of new contracts every other week. I would love for more of them to make the move, but I suspect the tipping point hasn’t been reached yet and the convenience of the WhatsApp-as-Default hasn’t yet outweighed whatever concerns they might have about privacy. Privacy, however, is in my view the single most important priority right alongside safe and secure encryption given how much integral online communication has become.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 17
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,471member
    I only ever used WhatsApp as a test for some chat feature when I es working on a chat feature for a payments app.  But I just use Apple messages with the iCloud feature turned off.  No need for me for anything else.  

    The wife and her siblings was using LINE but then the hubbub of Chinese servers and stuff happened and they all switched to Apple messages. 
  • Reply 8 of 17
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,269member
    Not only could FaceBook find ways to persuade users to permit tracking, but they could also ask other companies to put the same pressure on their users before FaceBook will let those companies access FaceBook's online services. I'm not sure if that behavior would be monopolistic or illegal, but hey, we're dealing with the devil here.
    Remember this is Facebook. They tried it with this company that they own and consumers revolted. It seems they are relenting. 
  • Reply 9 of 17
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,518member
    genovelle said:
    Not only could FaceBook find ways to persuade users to permit tracking, but they could also ask other companies to put the same pressure on their users before FaceBook will let those companies access FaceBook's online services. I'm not sure if that behavior would be monopolistic or illegal, but hey, we're dealing with the devil here.
    Remember this is Facebook. They tried it with this company that they own and consumers revolted. It seems they are relenting. 
    Interesting word choice. You could say the customers are revolting because FaceBook's privacy policy is revolting.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Not only could FaceBook find ways to persuade users to permit tracking, but they could also ask other companies to put the same pressure on their users before FaceBook will let those companies access FaceBook's online services. I'm not sure if that behavior would be monopolistic or illegal, but hey, we're dealing with the devil here.
    Yes it would be illegal. Facebook would be using its power in one market to coerce participants to create a barrier to trade. 

    This is what Microsoft was convicted of. They used their position to force hardware vendors to pay them a license fee in each machine, whether they installed Windows on that machine or not, and is one (of many) reasons Linux never gets preinstalled. 

    It would be illegal for Facebook to coerce  its partners into  attacking Apple. 
  • Reply 11 of 17
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,724member
    Recently ditched all things FB, which cost me sporting club and international connections. Would I go back?  :D

    Friends find a way.  B)
    williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 17
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,518member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Not only could FaceBook find ways to persuade users to permit tracking, but they could also ask other companies to put the same pressure on their users before FaceBook will let those companies access FaceBook's online services. I'm not sure if that behavior would be monopolistic or illegal, but hey, we're dealing with the devil here.
    Yes it would be illegal. Facebook would be using its power in one market to coerce participants to create a barrier to trade. 

    This is what Microsoft was convicted of. They used their position to force hardware vendors to pay them a license fee in each machine, whether they installed Windows on that machine or not, and is one (of many) reasons Linux never gets preinstalled. 

    It would be illegal for Facebook to coerce  its partners into  attacking Apple. 
    When is it coercion and when is it persuasion? Epic persuaded people to join the Coalition for App Fairness which is attacking Apple, and nobody has called that illegal. Are you calling that Coalition to be illegal? It seems tricky defining when opposition is fair or unfair.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Rayz2016 said:
    Not only could FaceBook find ways to persuade users to permit tracking, but they could also ask other companies to put the same pressure on their users before FaceBook will let those companies access FaceBook's online services. I'm not sure if that behavior would be monopolistic or illegal, but hey, we're dealing with the devil here.
    Yes it would be illegal. Facebook would be using its power in one market to coerce participants to create a barrier to trade. 

    This is what Microsoft was convicted of. They used their position to force hardware vendors to pay them a license fee in each machine, whether they installed Windows on that machine or not, and is one (of many) reasons Linux never gets preinstalled. 

    It would be illegal for Facebook to coerce  its partners into  attacking Apple. 
    When is it coercion and when is it persuasion? Epic persuaded people to join the Coalition for App Fairness which is attacking Apple, and nobody has called that illegal. Are you calling that Coalition to be illegal? It seems tricky defining when opposition is fair or unfair.
    Coercion v. Persuasion that's why there are lawyers 
  • Reply 14 of 17
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,736member
    This is getting old.  If you folks expect a product at zero cost to you, then you at the whim of the company's policies.  Get over it.

    Start using a PAID communication app that specifies it won't sell you out.  The Internet made people into such cheapskates.  Would would happen if WhatsApp charged $0.99/mo tier that keeps everything private, secure, and won't make you their products?  Easy... all the cheapskates would take off running like rats in a sinking ship.

    And so here we are.  WhatsApp needs to make money to be solvent, and you people complain when they try doing something because YOU won't pay for it.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Not only could FaceBook find ways to persuade users to permit tracking, but they could also ask other companies to put the same pressure on their users before FaceBook will let those companies access FaceBook's online services. I'm not sure if that behavior would be monopolistic or illegal, but hey, we're dealing with the devil here.
    Yes it would be illegal. Facebook would be using its power in one market to coerce participants to create a barrier to trade. 

    This is what Microsoft was convicted of. They used their position to force hardware vendors to pay them a license fee in each machine, whether they installed Windows on that machine or not, and is one (of many) reasons Linux never gets preinstalled. 

    It would be illegal for Facebook to coerce  its partners into  attacking Apple. 
    When is it coercion and when is it persuasion? Epic persuaded people to join the Coalition for App Fairness which is attacking Apple, and nobody has called that illegal. Are you calling that Coalition to be illegal? It seems tricky defining when opposition is fair or unfair.
    Seems pretty clear cut. 

    There’s nothing illegal about getting people to join a support group that tries to bring about change. Happens all the time. 

    If Facebook is found to be punishing partners for not joining the scheme, then that is illegal. Microsoft was punishing partners by making it more expensive for them not to join their scheme to keep Linux off the desktop. 




    williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 17
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,904member
    sflocal said:
    This is getting old.  If you folks expect a product at zero cost to you, then you at the whim of the company's policies.  Get over it.

    Start using a PAID communication app that specifies it won't sell you out.  The Internet made people into such cheapskates.  Would would happen if WhatsApp charged $0.99/mo tier that keeps everything private, secure, and won't make you their products?  Easy... all the cheapskates would take off running like rats in a sinking ship.

    And so here we are.  WhatsApp needs to make money to be solvent, and you people complain when they try doing something because YOU won't pay for it.
    You appear to be forgetting that WhatsApp used to be a paid subscription app for many (but not all) people.

    It was Facebook that officially scrapped that model when they decided WhatsApp Business would support WhatsApp be free to consumers.

    It's perfectly reasonable to think they could have continued with the old model where most people didn't actually pay anyway.

    The problem with Facebook is that they have awful communication and a tendency to 'rape' the consumer for everything they have.

    It seems these new terms are basically a formality as the changes they refer to have been in use for a few years already.

    To complicate matters, different data and consumer protection laws in the regions where it operates mean that the communication of the changes will be dependent on where the user lives and Facebook really hasn't got a clue with that skill.

    Messages is free on iDevices. WhatsApp is free on devices too. Paying for an app won't guarantee any real protection for users. You never really know if someone is going to sell out. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
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