WhatsApp didn't start the year on a very good note as it almost instantly entangled itself in a controversy when it rolled out a new privacy policy. While the company had to push back the initial deadline to May 15, a new report suggests WhatsApp is scrapping the deadline altogether, but not without severe consequences for those who don't agree to the new policy.

The Press Trust of India reported that the Facebook-owned messaging service won't delete accounts of those individuals who do not accept the new privacy policy on May 15. However, the same source also confirms that users will be sent reminders about accepting over the next "several weeks."

And in a statement given to Android Central, WhatsApp has confirmed that while it won't terminate accounts immediately, users who don't accept the new terms will have only "limited account functionality" available to them until they do. In the short term, that means losing access to your chat list, but you will still be able to see and respond to notifications as well as answer voice and video calls. However, after a few weeks of that, WhatsApp will then switch off all incoming notifications and calls for your account, effectively rendering it useless.

The decision not to fully enforce the deadline seems to be in reaction to the stern stance that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) in India took against the company. Earlier this year, the ministry filed a counter-affidavit in the high court to prevent WhatsApp from going ahead with the privacy policy update.

It's important to note that the privacy policy is not being rolled back in any way, and there doesn't seem to be a way to opt out of it if a user has already accepted it. There's also uncertainty about whether the scrapping of the deadline is applicable only to users in India or elsewhere too. In European countries compliant with GDPR, for example, users are protected against the worst aspects of WhatsApp's new policy.

WhatsApp Messenger
WhatsApp Messenger
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