WhatsApp will eventually delete your account if you don’t accept new privacy policy

Posted on Feb 22, 2021 by Caleb Chen
WhatsApp will eventually delete your account if you don't accept new privacy policy

WhatsApp has confirmed that users that don’t accept their controversial new privacy policy will eventually have their accounts deleted. The new privacy policy’s roll out has been delayed from February until May 15th. After the Ides of May, WhatsApp users that haven’t accepted the privacy policy will no longer be able to send or receive messages – but they will still be able to receive calls and notifications. WhatsApp confirmed to TechCrunch that this limbo period of functionality will only last for a few weeks. After that period ends, a WhatsApp account that hasn’t accepted the new privacy policy will go inactive – and WhatsApp has a general policy of deleting inactive accounts after 120 days.

WhatsApp issues ultimatum on new privacy policy

The controversial privacy policy will see the phone number and location of WhatsApp users shared with Facebook and used for ad targeting purposes. When the privacy policy was first announced, a flurry of users migrated from WhatsApp to other end-to-end encrypted messaging apps such as Signal and Telegram. There was a general fear that WhatsApp would have access to the end-to-end encrypted messages that billions of users send each other on the app every day. WhatsApp has sought to clear that misconception up, team members told Reuters:

“We’ve also included more information to try and address concerns we’re hearing.”

WhatsApp users will still have end-to-end encryption for p2p (person to person) messages; however, b2c (business to consumer) messages will be affected. This change matters to some, and not to others. WhatsApp has shared phone numbers with Facebook for years now, but this next privacy change is exactly what became inevitable from the very moment that Facebook acquired WhatsApp. WhatsApp founders quit Facebook post-acquisition leaving lots of money on the table over this change years before. Facebook has made an ultimatum to WhatsApp users: Now is the time to decide.

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