Here is what is going to happen if you don't accept WhatsApp's new Privacy Policy

Martin Brinkmann
May 9, 2021

WhatsApp owner Facebook is pushing privacy policy acceptance prompts in WhatsApp currently to users of the messaging application that have not accepted the new policy yet.

WhatsApp extended the deadline for the acceptance of the new terms and privacy policy after the story went viral in the media. Facebook published FAQs in an attempt to convince users to accept the new terms and privacy policy of the service.

If you have not given your acceptance by now, you may be interested in the consequences of doing so. WhatsApp will tighten the screws in the coming weeks and months to get users to accept the privacy policy and terms. Accounts won't be deleted according to the company, at least not right away.

whatsapp facebook privacy update

WhatsApp users who have not accepted the new policy will see a persistent reminder when they open the WhatsApp client on their devices.

Users who don't accept the updates then will have functionality reduced and removed from the client, until they do so.

In the first wave, users will no longer be able to access their chat list anymore. WhatsApp notes that it is still possible to answer incoming phone and video calls. With notifications enabled, it is furthermore still possible to respond to messages or call back in case a video or phone call was missed.

A few weeks afterwards, users won't receive calls or messages anymore as WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to the device. In other words: WhatsApp cannot be used anymore as a messaging client.

WhatsApp notes that the changes won't happen to all users at the same time. It appears that the company wants to push out the restrictions in waves to monitor responses.

Users may export their chat history, and import the data into other clients, e.g. Telegram supports that option.

The policy regarding inactive users applies to all accounts. Accounts who have not connected to WhatsApp for 120 days may be deleted. It is unclear at this point whether clients of users who have not accepted the privacy policy and terms are seen as inactive by WhatsApp if they don't receive calls or messages anymore.

Check out WhatsApp's FAQ on the site for additional information on the restrictions.

Now You: have you accepted the terms and privacy policy?

Here is what is going to happen if you don't accept WhatsApp's new Privacy Policy
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Here is what is going to happen if you don't accept WhatsApp's new Privacy Policy
Here is what is going to happen if you don't accept the new WhatsApp and Facebook privacy policy and terms.
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  1. Yakfly said on May 11, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Just delete this app and your account. This is the right way to deal with that.

    1. Ron said on May 12, 2021 at 1:44 am

      Not easy to do, and I bet they’ll still retain and sell your data despite any claims to the contrary.

  2. Anonymous said on May 10, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    What Fecebook is doing is not even legal under GDPR but capitalism.

  3. No one said on May 10, 2021 at 5:59 am

    No one who cares about privacy uses WhatsApp or Facebook.

    1. Ron said on May 10, 2021 at 10:52 pm

      Very easy to say but next to impossible to implement, unless one wants to be an isolated hermit. No FB, yes, but no WA is just not possible if one wants to stay in touch with people. Lots of companies are also using WA for Business, so without it one can’t even get customer support in many cases.

      1. No Ron said on May 11, 2021 at 12:06 pm

        @Ron No idea what you are talking about. It’s easy to say and implement. I have quite a few friends, and not a single one of them relies on WhatsApp or Facebook. A couple of them do have WhatsApp accounts, but they know I don’t, and it’s no big deal. If they don’t care enough to call or send a text, then they aren’t real friends. It’s a great litmus test.

        And I’ve never encountered a single company using WhatsApp for support. I’ve never even heard of a company being that self-destructive. If that’s how a company delivered support, I would immediately choose a product from a different company. And, anyways, when was the last time support told anyone anything more than “unplug it… okay… now plug it back in” or “try clearing the cache and cookies in your browser”. Quality support disappeared decades ago, along with quality Star Wars movies. But I digress…

      2. Ron said on May 11, 2021 at 4:24 pm

        Really, you do not know that Facebook, WhatsApp and the like have buried themselves so deeply into the collective consciousness that it’s next to impossible to find people not addicted to these? You say none of your friends relies on these to stay in touch? I call BS. But even if it’s at all true, you must be one of the very few with such disconnected friends. Meanwhile the rest of us have to deal with family and friends who have long since ditched SMS and mails, and even for calls use mostly services like WhatsApp because data is cheap. Family groups on WhatsApp, friends groups on WhatsApp, apartment complex residents groups on WhatsApp, connect to doctors via WhatsApp, ads have WhatsApp contact details/QR codes, and yes, many company contacts are via WhatsApp only nowadays. Wanna chat with medicine, grocery apps etc. customer support for example in these Covid times, to register a complaint or something – all via their WhatsApp for Business numbers. Even my banks have all deployed chat bots on WhatsApp for a variety of services, and tied up with WhatsApp for allowing customers to directly make payments via the app. I don’t know where you live, but here there’s so much deep integration that getting out of the stranglehold truly is next to impossible, unless as I said you’re a monk in some faraway mountaintop monastery with no internet.

  4. FranekK said on May 10, 2021 at 4:54 am

    Any idea how WhatsApp recognize who is from EU, who isn’t to apply proper privacy policy, GDPR complaint in case of EU citizens?
    Based on registered phone number?

  5. Ross said on May 9, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    I’ve never used it and never will.

  6. Sombra said on May 9, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    We love you very much, because you bring us money, but if you don’t do what we say we will kill you. Please accept our terms. Or die. Love, Facebook.
    PS: We love you. Accept the terms, you little s**t.

  7. ilev said on May 9, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Just like with Apple’s ‘allow to track’ were 96% blocked tracking, WhatsApp
    will see similar opt-out and will be left with no users.

    1. Anon said on May 10, 2021 at 1:51 am

      > WhatsApp will see similar opt-out and will be left with no users.

      Sadly, all I can say to you in response is, “Dream on”.

  8. Ricky McDuff said on May 9, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    Yeah, it’s been known for months, they only delayed it so maybe people would forget about it and accept it.
    I mean, what did anyone expect when Facebook acquired WhatsApp? This has been going for years when they started sharing WhatsApp data to Facebook anyway, they just made it clearer and more public and then be able to share more information between services.

    But of course Facebook hopes that people hit accept and move on because WhatsApp is big in their countries, without thinking about privacy or anything. Like in my family, they are using Telegram to communicate in the family group, but only my mom decided to delete her WhatsApp account because of this Facebook data stuff, but the others keep using WhatsApp for their friends and other groups they need.

    Still in 2021 and it is hard to find an app that has call and video features and gives some privacy that also are multiplatform, and I mean, works on phones just as desktops OSs, most of messaging apps focus on mobile like if only people communicated with phones and PCs didn’t exist anymore. well, even WhatsApp still needs the phone turned on to be used on the desktop, it is so bad but people apparently don’t mind it, at least now it supports video calls but not group video calls so pretty behind on what it supports.

    There is Signal but I don’t trust Moxie and all the Signal past and all the information around it, always something weird going on with them and they are “too popular” to believe they want to give us privacy and freedom, like Jack Dorsey promoting it when he is the first one banning and suspending people and wanting to control what people think and say, of course, being supported by the braindead “private company, private company!” like if that changed anything. Also still only phone number as the ID, so you have to give your phone number to anyone to communicate with it, but even if they implement the usernames or whatever which they have been saying it for years, I wouldn’t trust it or recommend it to anyone around me. Tried it to, but couldn’t after finding more and more red flags about it.

    I am still waiting for Session to implement audio calls and then videocalls, I have it installed since like a year ago, use it sometimes but can’t do it without the videocalls support. But onion routing for privacy and anonymity, but I hope they implement P2P videocalls like they have P2P audio calls and file sharing in their roadmap. The only negative is that they use Electron for their apps, but it is hard to imagine anyone wanting to build native apps for Linux and small platforms when the users are small, they even delayed the monetization until they hit millions and they are still 100K users or something.

    This is the perfect moment for people to delete WhatsApp and find an alternative, but it is not going to happen, like in some countries, it is not only most people who use it, but Stores and restaurants and anything like that, even tv shows give away their WhatsApp number to communicate and get/give information “easily”, even my parents internet carrier told them to send a message through WhatsApp to explain a problem they were having, it is ridiculous, I mean, first imagine giving out your phone number away so easily to anyone, but also it is ridiculous how big it grew in some countries to expect people to stop using it and switch to a less evil or terrible alternatives.

    1. Lemegeton said on May 12, 2021 at 3:47 pm

      Tox – P2P, E2EE, multiplatform.

    2. TelV said on May 10, 2021 at 10:17 am

      Maybe LINE might suit your needs. It’s widely used in SE Asia, but less popular in the west. The advantage there is no ads, or at least I haven’t seen any in the last 5 years I’ve been using it.

      Only disadvantage as I view it is that Google Drive is the only option to backup chats.

  9. beemeup5 said on May 9, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Put Facebook and all Facebook related properties in the trash where they belong and be done with it. It’s supposed to be a tool for your convenience not the other way around. If you “can’t live” without something that is antithetical to your own best interests, that is what’s called a shackle and a liability.

    1. Herman Cost said on May 10, 2021 at 2:49 am


    2. Anon said on May 10, 2021 at 1:59 am

      While I personally couldn’t agree with you more, unfortunately it’s impossible to convince all (or even a significant majority) of one’s contacts to dump WhatsApp and other FB apps and move to any particular secure and private alternative. FB knows this perfectly well since network effects are what helped it achieve hyperscale in the first place, and help it fend off any competition and hold onto its crown.

  10. Threema said on May 9, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    I cancelled my WhatsApp account a few months back because of this. It was never linked to my real number anyway, nor did I provide any profile information. Still.

    Now we’re using Threema.

  11. Rebekah said on May 9, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    I wish my entire circle of friends wasn’t complete normies, who are unable to migrate to Signal and Threema like sane people.

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