— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) May 7, 2021
and now it seems that the deadline and related coercive action has been dropped entirely. 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. There is no clear information available yet whether this applies only to Indian users, or is applicable globally.
Update: WhatsApp clarifies earlier report
However, it is only the account deletion that will not be an immediate event on May 15. Users who have not yet accepted the new policy will have their WhatsApp functions limited slowly after that date, until they do so.
In a statement, WhatsApp said the following:
“We’ve spent the last several months providing more information about our update to users around the world. In that time, the majority of people who have received it have accepted the update and WhatsApp continues to grow. However, for those that have not yet had a chance to do so, their accounts will not be deleted or lose functionality on May 15. We’ll continue to provide reminders to those users within WhatsApp in the weeks to come.”
Q: What happens on the effective date?
A: No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update.
For the last several weeks we’ve displayed a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update. After giving everyone time to review, we’re continuing to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent.
Q: What happens after I receive a persistent reminder?
A: At that time, you’ll encounter limited functionality on WhatsApp until you accept the updates. This will not happen to all users at the same time.
- You won’t be able to access your chat list, but you can still answer incoming phone and video calls. If you have notifications enabled, you can tap on them to read or respond to a message or call back a missed phone or video call.
- After a few weeks of limited functionality, you won’t be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone.
WhatsApp won’t delete your account if you don’t accept the update. However, their separate policy on inactive accounts will continue to apply, wherein accounts inactive for 120 days are deleted automatically.