Refusing the new WhatsApp terms of use will ultimately be of no consequence

The app was supposed to render many of its essential features unusable for those who refused to update it.

WhatsApp backpedal on its very controversial update. The popular messaging app in recent months had given its users an ultimatum: accept new terms of use, which involved new data transfers, or have to settle for a watered-down version of the service. In this case, users had until May 15 to decide.

The deadline has since passed. And some users of the application, resistant to its new privacy policy, have been able to slip through the cracks. In an article in the American media The Next Web, a spokesperson for the application confirms this drastic change in policy. “We currently have no plans to limit the functionality of WhatsApp for those who have not accepted the update.», We can read.

WhatsApp emptied of its substance

As a reminder, refusing the new conditions of use of WhatsApp, without rhyme with an account deactivation, was supposed to have several concrete consequences. Among them, the inability to access the main screen of the application and to consult its conversations. Recalcitrant users could thus have responded to requests from their contacts, without being able to initiate a conversation.

They could also have answered incoming phone and video calls. Time to “a few weeksOnly. After that, WhatsApp would have stopped sending messages, calls and notifications to the phone, the app’s help center noted at the time. In other words, WhatsApp would have been rendered unusable … the time for its users to reverse their decision, and accept the new rules of the service.

No explanation for this turnaround is given. WhatsApp simply states that “the majority of users who have seen the update have accepted it”. The update to WhatsApp’s privacy policy has nonetheless caused a wave of global panic. The application had seen its users migrate in numbers to applications known for their respect for privacy, such as Signal or the Russian messaging service Telegram. This mess has also earned WhatsApp some government snub. On May 11, the Hamburg Data Protection Authority ordered Facebook to suspend its use of the data made available by the app for three months. WhatsApp ensures that this order “is based on a fundamental misunderstanding“Of the new rules and that it will therefore have”no impact on the continued deployment of the update“.

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