The announcement in January 2021 triggered a big quake: Whatsapp announced at the time that the messenger’s general terms and conditions would be changed on February 8th. It was stated that all data may be shared with other Facebook offers. Many users felt that the short term was under pressure. There was a real exodus and a switch to apps like Signal or Threema.
That is why Facebook has meanwhile extended the deadline for approval. It will now end on May 15, 2021. “The aim is to give users enough time to read the terms and conditions,” says a specially set up support site. In addition, the developer wants to reapply banners in the chat to the upcoming change to draw attention.
Anyone who does not agree to the changes must expect consequences. So people who do not accept the terms and conditions can no longer use the “full functionality” of the messenger. What does that mean exactly? “You will receive calls and notifications for a short time, but you will not be able to read or send messages,” explains Whatsapp.
However, users still have the opportunity to consent after May 15. It is unclear whether a “no” to the terms and conditions means that the account can be deleted at a later date. Here the company links to guidelines for inactive accounts, which “would normally be deleted after 120 days”.
Confusion about terms and conditions
But what is the new terms and conditions all about? It is primarily about the use of the data. But after the announcement in January, confusion has spread. At first it was not clear that the changes would only affect business profiles and not private individuals. In addition, according to Whatsapp, the update does not change anything in the data regulations in Europe. According to its own statements, Whatsapp still cannot share any data with Facebook in order to improve its products or advertising.
However, many Whatsapp users are probably not aware that they agreed to a very limited exchange of data in 2016. Facebook bought Whatsapp in fall 2014 for $ 22 billion. For example, the phone number or the information on how often you use the app are sent to the parent company if you said “yes” at the time. The content of the chat cannot be read. These are end-to-end encrypted.