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WhatsApp cancels May 15 deadline for its controversial privacy policy

Centre pro-actively looking for action on WhatsApp privacy rules issue, says MeitY official

Tech Plunge

WhatsApp cancels May 15 deadline for its controversial privacy policy

WhatsApp has scrapped its May 15 deadline for users to accept its controversial privacy policy update, news agency PTI reported. The Facebook-owned messaging app said it will not be deleting accounts of those who do not comply with its privacy update. “No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks,” the spokesperson said in an emailed response to a query on Friday.

The messaging platform was under fire over user concerns that data was being shared with parent company Facebook. The company was earlier accused of forcing its users to accept the ‘privacy policy’ or leave the platform.

The spokesperson said that a “majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them.” However, the company did not clarify the reason behind the decision and did not reveal the number of users who have accepted the terms so far.

The Indian government had also recently asked WhatsApp to roll back its controversial policy. But from what we can interpret, the policy is not rolled back and will remain in place for users who have already accepted, and there appears to be no clear way to reject the policy once accepted.

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In January this year, WhatsApp announced its new policy pushing out an update on its app, asking users to accept its terms. Initially, the company set a deadline of February 8, 2021, but later it revised the deadline to May 15. WhatsApp’s privacy policy focused on addressing data sharing with its parent company Facebook, especially where business accounts were concerned.



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