WhatsApp will disable messages unless users agree to new privacy policy

Posted:
in iOS
WhatsApp users who don't agree to the Facebook-owned service's updated privacy policy face the possibility of losing the ability to send or receive messages through the iPhone app.




WhatsApp is preparing to make changes to its privacy policy relating to some of its business chat features. The changes have become a subject of wariness for some users, but the service plans to encourage users to agree to the new policy.

Initially sent in an email to merchant partners, first spotted by TechCrunch, the WhatsApp website advises users have an "effective date" of May 15th to review the policy changes. WhatsApp "will not delete" user accounts that don't accept the policy updates, but they "won't have full functionality of WhatsApp" until they accept.

The page describes this as "For a short time, you'll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won't be able to read or send messages from the app." The duration of the "short time" is not defined.

After May 15, users will be able to accept the changes, but WhatsApp warns its policy "related to inactive users will apply." That policy advises accounts deemed inactive are "generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity."

Users are also informed they can export their chat history and download a report of their account before May 15. Account deletion advice is also offered, but with the further warning that it cannot be reversed.

WhatsApp experienced a backlash from users concerned about the inbound privacy policy changes. While the changes updated how business chat logs are stored to be retained on Facebook's servers, critics considered it a wider grab for personal data by Facebook itself.

The reaction from users led to an exodus for millions to other privacy services, including Telegram and Signal. In response, WhatsApp started to use its Status feature to remind users it cannot read their encrypted conversations.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    I do not want to deal with liers and criminals, so I deleted my account when they were acquired by Facebook.
    viclauyychcrefugeelongpathDogpersonDAalsethmike54georgie01caladanianbaconstangRayz2016
  • Reply 2 of 25
    "Signal," if you are listening...
    darkvaderwilliamlondonlongpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 25
    Deleted this apps long time ago
    darkvaderhcrefugeemike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 25

    What  app?
    hcrefugeezeus423beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 5 of 25
    hcrefugee said:
    "Signal," if you are listening...
    I've been on Signal for awhile and for the longest time there were only a few contacts from amongst my own Contacts that were also using Signal, then all of a sudden a few weeks ago that number went through the roof in just one week. Now a large number of my contacts are on Signal.

    Anyone else notice this huge uptake of the service too recently? Definitely good news for those of us using the service, the more on it, the more valuable it is as an everyday tool.
    hcrefugeecaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 25
    Deleted long ago.  
    mike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 25
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,616member
    “ the service plans to force users to agree to the new policy”

    fixed it for you, AI. 
    Dogpersonmike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 25
    What an arrogance! It's a real blackmail. 
    If I were a WhatsApp user, I would immediately switch to another application.
    Zuckerberg is sick. In his imagination, he's the king of Internet.
    williamlondonlongpathDogpersonAlex1Nmike54caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 25
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,651member
    Why anyone uses WhatsApp anymore I don’t know.  A ton of much better alternatives exist.  
    edited February 2021 mike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 25
    chadbag said:
    Why anyone uses WhatsApp anymore I don’t know.  A ton of much better alternatives exist.  
    A few places where I've worked in the past several years all require Whatsapp for group chats, it's not an option for some unfortunately. Maybe with an uptake of services like Signal, this might change (hopefully)?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 25
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,183member
    It's like Zuckerberg is playing Russian Roulette with a semi-auto pistol. You gotta give him credit for self culling.
    longpathAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 25
    Zuckerberg’s antics is more than justification for ceasing to use any of the systems he has control over. While I miss some folks on the periphery of my network, staying connected with them wasn’t worth the exposure to Zuckerberg and his megalomania.
    DogpersonAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,993member
    qwerty52 said:
    What an arrogance! It's a real blackmail. 
    If I were a WhatsApp user, I would immediately switch to another application.
    Zuckerberg is sick. In his imagination, he's the king of Internet.
    You may have meant it as hyperbole but I think Z might have started to lose it. The more people push back against his antics the more frantic and somewhat illogical his actions seem to be. The board might have to step in and remove him, or he could, and FB along with him, get into some serious legal trouble. More than the somewhat vague antitrust threats. 
    Alex1Nqwerty52watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 25
    DAalseth said:
    qwerty52 said:
    What an arrogance! It's a real blackmail. 
    If I were a WhatsApp user, I would immediately switch to another application.
    Zuckerberg is sick. In his imagination, he's the king of Internet.
    You may have meant it as hyperbole but I think Z might have started to lose it. The more people push back against his antics the more frantic and somewhat illogical his actions seem to be. The board might have to step in and remove him, or he could, and FB along with him, get into some serious legal trouble. More than the somewhat vague antitrust threats. 

    I agree completely. He is desperate, because his business model is in a big danger. But in place to try to change it,
    he is acting like a dictator, forcing his users to do something they don’t want
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 25
    I went through the account deletion process a few years ago. However over time it became clear that deletion actually didn't take place. To other users it just looked like I hadn't read their messages yet (normally users are notified when attempting to send a message to a phone number that doesn't have a matching account.)

    So a few years later I went through the process of making a "new" account to see if I could resolve the issue - only to then receive a backlog of years worth of unread messages.

    For those deleting their account (probably a wise move considering Whatsapp is owned by facebook) - I encourage you to test that the deletion was successful by asking a friend to try sending you a message - they should receive a messaging indicating as such.
    caladanianwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 25
    Since I defend Apple's right to create its own App Store rules, I feel compelled to defend Facebook's right to be as invasive as the want. If people want to give Facebook the rights to use their own image, their own personal data, their own private messages, etc., that's their right to do so. People also have the right to smoke cigarettes.

    However, corporations and the governments should be allowed to hire only people who do not pass their information off to companies like Facebook. Because it proves you are an idiot who can't handle anyone's private data securely. I realize the First Amendment might possibly block governments from doing this, but it wouldn't block private companies.
    edited February 2021
  • Reply 17 of 25
    MplsP said:
    “ the service plans to force users to agree to the new policy”

    fixed it for you, AI. 
    That's inaccurate.  The service simply cannot force the user to do anything, and nobody will stop them from rejecting the new policy.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 25

    chadbag said:
    Why anyone uses WhatsApp anymore I don’t know.  A ton of much better alternatives exist.  
    A few places where I've worked in the past several years all require Whatsapp for group chats, it's not an option for some unfortunately. Maybe with an uptake of services like Signal, this might change (hopefully)?
    Presumably they also provide a device on which to use it, separate from one's own personal device?  If not, that's pretty skeevy.

    My employer uses Teams, but they in no way require it be used on our personal devices.  In fact, they won't allow me to use it on my phone to connect to the company network, because I use a VPN that is not the company's on my phone.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 25
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,183member
    Since I defend Apple's right to create its own App Store rules, I feel compelled to defend Facebook's right to be as invasive as the want. If people want to give Facebook the rights to use their own image, their own personal data, their own private messages, etc., that's their right to do so. People also have the right to smoke cigarettes.

    However, corporations and the governments should be allowed to hire only people who do not pass their information off to companies like Facebook. Because it proves you are an idiot who can't handle anyone's private data securely. I realize the First Amendment might possibly block governments from doing this, but it wouldn't block private companies.
    Is Apple acting any differently than brick & mortar stores who refuse to carry legal products, for example tobacco, alcohol, firearms, porn, etc., that they consider to be contrary to their brand image and corporate values? Consumers seeking these things can go to a different store that carry those products or obtain them through some other means. Store owners like Apple have a choice and a right to defend their brand name.

    When you really think about it, companies like Facebook are at their core incredibly lazy. They don’t want to do the hard work or make the massive investments needed to create their own consumption devices for the media they create, i.e., smartphones and devices, or build a store to distribute their wares. They look at Apple and think “our work is done”and that they can simply glom on to Apple’s hard work and rake in the profits. To a large degree, they can!

    However, to benefit from Apple’s hard work and massive investment these incredibly lazy hangers-on have to play by Apple’s rules. And they’re complaining about it! They want it all, they want it their way, they don’t want to do the hard work, and they don’t want to play by the rules of their benefactor. What kind of distorted reality of universal entitlement do people like Zuckerberg live in?

    Apple’s App Store is only one store. Apple owns it. It’s not a public utility. If Facebook wants total control over their company and the products they sell they need to build their own store or partner with someone who’ll do the work for them and not require them to follow any rules. Make it all run in a browser for all I care. I don’t care what it costs. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 25
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,993member
    qwerty52 said:
    DAalseth said:
    qwerty52 said:
    What an arrogance! It's a real blackmail. 
    If I were a WhatsApp user, I would immediately switch to another application.
    Zuckerberg is sick. In his imagination, he's the king of Internet.
    You may have meant it as hyperbole but I think Z might have started to lose it. The more people push back against his antics the more frantic and somewhat illogical his actions seem to be. The board might have to step in and remove him, or he could, and FB along with him, get into some serious legal trouble. More than the somewhat vague antitrust threats. 

    I agree completely. He is desperate, because his business model is in a big danger. But in place to try to change it,
    he is acting like a dictator, forcing his users to do something they don’t want
    I wonder of Z knows The Secret. The Secret being that online advertising is not as valuable as FB and Google would have the advertisers believe. Targeted ads are just creepy and have become a joke. I can't remember the last time I clicked on a web ad. Targeted web ads are just more annoying. Apple's new privacy rules will not impact online advertisers, but will cut into the FB bottom line. Worse yet when the word gets out that they've been selling empty promises backed up by flashy statistics meaning nothing, FB will be in a world of hurt. That's Z biggest fear.
    dewmewatto_cobra
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