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The day has finally arrived when WhatsApp users across the world must finally accept its new terms and conditions. The Facebook-owned firm set the May 15 deadline a number of months ago and has been on a mission ever since trying to convince its billions of users to hit the agree button.
Until recently, WhatsApp had said that anyone not signing up to the new T&Cs would be blocked from sending or receiving any messages on the platform although the company backtracked on that decision last week. However, don’t think for one minute that you will get off without agreeing to WhatsApp demands as those who refuse will be punished in gentle stages.
WhatsApp says that it will continue to remind those who haven’t agreed to the terms over the coming weeks. “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,” WhatsApp announced in an updated blog post.
If people still haven’t signed up, the reminder will eventually become more persistent and, as time goes on, users will then encounter limited functionality on WhatsApp until they accept the updates. This will not happen to all users at the same time.
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WhatsApp says those who refuse to sign on the dotted line won’t be able to access their chat list. Calls and messages will work for a time but after a few weeks you won’t be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone. There’s no word on an exact timeline of when the functionality will start to drop but it appears users will have around a month to agree.
When WhatsApp first announced its updated terms towards the end of last year, many loyal users were concerned that it signalled more data-sharing between the chat app and its parent company Facebook.
However, WhatsApp is keen to point out that this is not the case. In the new message, the company says, “We can’t read or listen to your personal conversations, as they are end-to-end encrypted. This will never change.
“We’re making it easier to chat with businesses to ask questions and get quick answers. Chatting with businesses is optional.”
“So if that’s the case what is the big deal about the new terms and conditions? The upcoming changes do not enable Facebook to access any more data from your personal chats.
In fact, it will only impact conversations with a business account – like a customer care line for an online brand, for example. Even then, the data that can be accessed between these optional interactions with business accounts will not apply in the UK or mainland Europe, thanks to tough EU regulations on data-sharing practices.In a recent blog post WhatsApp has tried to calm fears about the upcoming change with the firm saying: “As a reminder, we’re building new ways to chat or shop with a business on WhatsApp that are entirely optional.
“Personal messages will always be end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t read or listen to them.”
For now you’re probably safe not to agree to WhatsApp terms but expect your app to begin losing features as the weeks go on.
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