What Happens If You Dont Accept WhatsApps New Privacy Policy? – Lifehacker3 min read

https://lifehacker.com/what-happens-if-you-dont-accept-whatsapps-new-privacy-p-1846880181

WhatsApp’s controversial new privacy policy goes into effect May 15, 2021. The updated agreement gives Facebook permission to collect your WhatsApp data, and lots of people aren’t happy about it. That said, users are not forced to accept the new terms automatically—but those who don’t agree to them will experience some changes to their service. Eventually, you’ll be unable to use the app, but it’ll be a gradual transition, as you lose more and more access over a course of weeks.

Why won’t these WhatsApp policy agreements go away?

WhatsApp has sent periodic reminders to its users about the privacy changes, but for now, you can dismiss the notifications and continue using the app without agreeing to the changes.

However, according to WhatsApp, “After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent.” This will happen at different times for all users in the coming weeks.

When that happens, the in-app notification will block access to your chat list or other functions until you agree to the new privacy policy. You will still be able to accept incoming audio and video calls during this period, as well as read or reply to messages through WhatsApp push notifications, but you won’t have access to in-app features.

When will I fully lose access to WhatsApp?

After a few weeks of truncated app features, users will be fully locked out of WhatsApp—including notifications and incoming calls—until they accept the privacy agreement. WhatsApp does not say how long it will take for this to happen.

What happens to my account then?

While WhatsApp will not immediately delete your account for not accepting the agreement, said account will technically be “inactive” once you lose access to the app. After 120 days of inactivity, your account will be flagged for deletion. Deleted accounts and message data cannot be recovered.

What should you do about WhatsApp’s new privacy policy?

WhatsApp users have two options: First, you can of course accept the new privacy agreement and keep using WhatsApp. You’re free to do so at any time as long as your account is still active—but accepting sooner means avoiding service interruptions.

Second, if you outright refuse to accept the new privacy policy, you can migrate from WhatsApp to a new messaging service. After doing so, you should also delete your WhatsApp account, provided you’re serious about keeping Facebook out of your business—but before you do, export your WhatsApp data and message history. You can’t import chat or personal data to other apps, but you’ll have a backup of your messages you can reference later.

To save WhatsApp messages (Android or iOS)

  1. Open a chat thread.
  2. Tap the chat’s name at the top of the screen to open the menu.
  3. Scroll down to “Export Chat.” You can select to include the media attachments in your backup, or only backup text data.
  4. Repeat for any other messages you want to save.

To request your account data (Android or iOS)

  1. Go to Settings > Account > Request Account Info.
  2. WhatsApp will contact you within three days with your downloadable data report.

Make sure you back up your data before the persistent notification blocks you from the app. That said, you can always agree to the new privacy policy, back up your account, and then delete it, or let WhatsApp do the dirty work after it has been inactive for 120 days.

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