WhatsApp will gradually stop working if you don’t agree to its new privacy policy

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With its controversial privacy policy slated to go into effect this weekend, WhatsApp says it won’t delete or deactivate the accounts of individuals who don’t want to share their information with Facebook. “No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update,” the company says in…

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With its controversial privacy policy slated to go into effect this weekend, WhatsApp says it won’t delete or deactivate the accounts of individuals who don’t want to share their information with Facebook. “No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update,” the company says in a support article spotted by Bleeping Computer. Instead, WhatsApp plans to progressively limit the functionality holdouts can access until they accept the new privacy policy.

If that applies to you, you’ll have the chance to continue using WhatsApp as usual for “several weeks.” Eventually, however, WhatsApp will start sending you persistent notifications to accept its updated privacy policy. “At that time, you’ll encounter limited functionality on WhatsApp until you accept the updates,” the company says.

At first, you’ll lose access to your chat list. The only way the app will allow you to message or call someone is if they contact you first and you tap on the notification from WhatsApp. After several more weeks, the app will stop sending messages and calls to your phone altogether. The exact moment the process starts for individual holdouts will be different for everyone.

Once you get to the second stage, your options are limited if you don’t accept the policy at that point. You can export your chat history or download a report of your account. You can also delete it, though WhatsApp warns that’s something it can’t reverse. Ultimately, it may not matter much. As part of a separate policy, WhatsApp automatically deletes accounts after 120 days of inactivity. 

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