WhatsApp users haven’t got long left to accept the messaging app’s updated terms and conditions, or face finding themselves blocked from the service completely. That’s the latest warning from Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, that reiterates that users only have until May 15, 2021 to hit the “agree” button. Based on the number of WhatsApp users on social media who have voiced concerns about the new terms and conditions, there are plenty of people who regularly use WhatsApp that could find themselves blocked in the coming weeks.
Posting on Twitter, one WhatsApp user said: “I have been using Signal since WhatsApp threatened me with the new terms. My privacy is respected at Signal and therefore, it earns a loyal user.”
Whilst another tweeted: “Anyone in the same boat as me; not keen to agree with the new Whatsapp terms? “
WhatsApp has confirmed to Express.co.uk that it will not be deleting any accounts that refuse to agree to the small-print, but those who refuse will lose some of the most important features found within the app. Explaining more, WhatsApp said: “WhatsApp will not delete your account. However, you won’t have full functionality of WhatsApp until you accept. For a short time, you’ll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won’t be able to read or send messages from the app.”
So, if you love chatting with friends and family and don’t want to miss out on the latest gossip you only have around six weeks to make the decision on whether you’re happy to accept WhatsApp changes.
READ MORE: WhatsApp reveals eight simple things every iPhone and Android user must do TODAY
WhatsApp will, no doubt, be pushing more notifications out to those who haven’t agreed and if that’s you then here is what is changing and whether you need to be concerned.
When WhatsApp first announced its updated terms towards the end of last year, many loyal users were concerned that it signalled more data-sharing between the chat app and its parent company Facebook.
However, WhatsApp has stressed to users that this is not the case. The upcoming changes do not enable Facebook to access any more data from your personal chats. In fact, it will only impact conversations with a business account – like a customer care line for an online brand, for example. Even then, the data that can be accessed between these optional interactions with business accounts will not apply in the UK or mainland Europe, thanks to tough EU regulations on data-sharing practices.
So, you shouldn’t have any concerns moving forward – provided you’re already comfortable with the amount of data stored by the app.
To help fans feel more confident with the changes, WhatsApp said in its recent blog post: “As a reminder, we’re building new ways to chat or shop with a business on WhatsApp that are entirely optional. Personal messages will always be end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t read or listen to them.
“In the coming weeks, we’ll display a banner in WhatsApp providing more information that people can read at their own pace. We’ve also included more information to try and address concerns we’re hearing. Eventually, we’ll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp.”
Sadly, if you want to keep messaging after May 15 you are going to have to accept the new terms as not doing so will leave you without access to the most popular chat app on the planet. If you think it’s time to turn your back on WhatsApp and want to start messaging friends and family using a more privacy-focused option, Express.co.uk has got you covered.
Find our recommendations for the most secure WhatsApp alternatives on iPhone and Android here.