WhatsApp Will Limit Accounts That Don't Accept New Privacy Policy

There is no stopping WhatsApp's, really Facebook's, changes to its privacy policy despite the immense backlash from its own users as well as privacy advocates. The bottom line remains that if you want to keep using WhatsApp, you'll have to agree to share some of your data with Facebook, despite WhatsApp bragging about its privacy-focused operations. You won't, however, immediately lose access to your account after the May 15th deadline if you don't agree to that policy but you will slowly see yourself pushed out of the service until you do.

Originally scheduled for earlier this year, WhatsApp decided to delay implementing its controversial privacy policy change until most of its users are already used to the idea. Rather than change its course, WhatsApp spent that time notifying users about its changes, at least those users who haven't moved to new messaging services in the meantime.

WhatsApp will instead limit the functionality that users will have access to until they agree to the new privacy policy. At first, users won't be able to access their chat lists but they can still access some basic functionality. They will still be able to receive incoming phone and video calls and they will be able to reply to messages from notifications.

After a few weeks, however, WhatsApp will completely remove even those functions and will stop sending users calls or messages. The only thing that users will be able to do is to download their data and leave WhatsApp. Alternatively, they can also accept the new privacy policy to return to Facebook's good graces.

WhatsApp clarifies that it won't be deleting user accounts just because they don't accept that privacy policy. That said, it warns users that it does have a separate policy that will automatically delete inactive accounts after 120 days.