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WhatsApp won’t be deleting the accounts of those who have not accepted their new privacy policy update anymore.

Instead, the Facebook-owned company announced that they will list these accounts as “inactive” after 15 May 2021 instead of deleting them until either their owners accept the policy update or delete their account entirely. Users with “inactive” accounts will still be able to accept the new policy update after 15 May and receive calls and notifications from the app, but they will be unable to read or send messages.

Back in January 2021, WhatsApp’s new policy update sparked outrage with users worldwide due to their decision to send user information to Facebook Inc. for targeted ads. This has caused many users signing up to more secured messaging apps like Signal and Telegram.

An infographic from WhatsApp that details its privacy policy
Credit: WhatsApp

In response to the outrage and migration, WhatsApp announced that they will postpone the execution of the new policy update from 8 February to 15 May to give users more time to read and understand their new terms. WhatsApp also stated that the update will only affect optional business features on WhatsApp and not users’ privacy. They also added that the update provides further transparency about how they collect and use data.

WhatsApp’s policy update has also earned the ire of the Indian government due to the update’s “all-or-nothing” approach. They stated that the update may infringe on Indian users’ interests in informational privacy and information security. With this, the Indian government called on WhatsApp to withdraw its policy update.


Written by John Paul Joaquin