Users were first informed of the changes last week via an in-app notification. Failure to do so will no longer lead to the deactivation of your account as Facebook has backtracked on a previous decision that gave its users an ultimatum to accept sharing their data with Facebook if they want to continue using their account or, as an alternative, to delete their accounts.
Initially, having failed to accept the policy, users won’t be able to access their chat list, but they will still be able to answer the incoming phone and video calls.
After a few weeks of limited functionality, users won’t be able to receive incoming calls or notifications, and eventually, WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone.
If you decide to move away from WhatsApp, the platform will enable you to move your chat history to another platform.
It is also important to note that the upcoming update is not about changing the privacy of your personal conversations. This change will mainly apply to chats with businesses.
The Facebook-owned chat platform insists that communication between people will remain private. It also reminds users that chatting with businesses will be optional.
This comes at a time when leading tech companies such as Apple are spearheading privacy as a business strategy and a value system. Apple has introduced a new operating system that will enable users to choose whether they want to be tracked by companies like Facebook.
The Zuckerberg-led social network on the other hand has waged a months-long campaign against Apple, running full-page ads in national newspapers and testing pop-ups inside the Facebook app to encourage users to accept its tracking. It’s also alleged that Apple’s changes are designed to help the iPhone maker’s own business, rather than protect consumer privacy.