The consequences of the WhatsApp terms and conditions change on May 15th

The deadline is getting closer and closer. WhatsApp has given users even more time to consider the new terms and conditions. But what threatens if you reject the new provisions?

On March 15, new terms of use and data protection provisions on WhatsApp come into force. As TECHNOLOGY BUTTON has already reported, the company uses a banner in the app to indicate the new date. Originally, the provisions should apply at the beginning of February. However, due to the ambiguous wording, which led to a massive user switch to other messengers, WhatsApp suspended the changes for the time being.

If you do not want to accept the WhatsApp terms and conditions, you have to do without functions

So far it has been the case that users who do not agree to the new provisions should only have limited access to messenger functions from May 15. But WhatsApp has moved away from this position and gives more time to think about it. Even after May 15th, the messenger can be used as usual.

It only becomes critical when you get a “lasting reminder”, as WhatsApp writes in its FAQ . The persistent reminder only appears after several weeks if users do not accept the new WhatsApp terms and conditions. But as soon as it appears on the smartphone, the messenger functions are restricted. This has two consequences:

  1. You can no longer access the chat list, you can only take calls and video calls. Only when notifications for WhatsApp are switched on can you click on them and reply to a message or call back.
  2. A couple of weeks after the persistent reminder first appeared, WhatsApp also stopped showing incoming calls and messages as notifications. The messenger is effectively unusable because you can no longer answer messages or make calls.

WhatsApp points out that these changes will not apply to all users at the same time.

Also interesting: 8 WhatsApp rules – one violation and you will be kicked out!

WhatsApp asks you to accept the new terms and conditions

Via the banner in the app, users get a two-sided information overview. In it, the company explains which changes will be made – and which will not. In general, nothing changes in the chats among normal users. Messages remain end-to-end encrypted, which means WhatsApp and Facebook cannot read the content.

What is changing is the communication between private users and companies. With WhatsApp Business, WhatsApp has long been offering a platform to get in direct contact with customers. For example, to inform about the status of a delivery or changes to a flight plan. However, due to the new data protection regulations, communications are not encrypted. The content can thus be evaluated with Facebook tools for advertising purposes. However, communication with companies is clearly marked as such and is completely optional.

What happens if you do not accept the terms and conditions permanently?

Unfortunately, the FAQ does not explain exactly what happens to the account if you do not accept the new WhatsApp terms and conditions. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON asked WhatsApp what the exact permanent consequences of refusing to comply with the new provisions would be. We could not, however, be given an exact answer. However, we have learned that the WhatsApp account will remain accessible for a while so that users can still agree to the conditions after March 15. We couldn’t be told how long this option would be available.

Anyone who does not accept the new provisions will receive a persistent reminder after a few weeks

It is clear that users who do not accept the WhatsApp terms and conditions are considered inactive. In this case, the company’s deletion policy, which is also recorded in the FAQ , applies . Inactive accounts fall victim to deletion after 120 days. After that, WhatsApp data will still be stored on the smartphone, but you will no longer have access to it – unless you log in again and agree to the terms of use.

If you don’t want to accept the WhatsApp terms and conditions and are attached to the data, you should export the chat history and save pictures and videos. Because after the 120-day period has expired, you lose access to the app and thus also to the data.

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